Burlington, NC -- Federal taxes could go up, but Congress won't decide until after the November elections.
Tax cuts put in place under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire at the end of the year. Congress will decide whether to extend those cuts.
Art Cassill, professor of accounting at Elon University, said a tax hike would impact everyone different, depending on factors including a person's tax bracket and marital status.
He said one thing is clear; if Congress allows all the cuts to expire, everyone's taxes will go up.
Debbie Burkwald, who spent part of Tuesday shopping at Lowes Foods in Burlington, said paying more taxes could mean she spends less at the store.
"It's going to trickle down, not just for me. 'Am I going to buy this grade or this grade of product?' I think it's going to hurt the economy as well too. Because people like me aren't going to be able to afford to purchase from farmers and purchase things that they need. It's going to have an avalanche effect, I think," she said.
"If you tax those who have small businesses that are supplying food for groceries and others, I think she's making an astute observation, that that could in fact happen. No one knows for sure," Cassill said.
He said it will be confusing for taxpayers to figure out how proposed tax hikes could impact them.
"I think that's a real problem. I think that's part of this issue that tax payers aren't really able to figure out what's going to happen. And that uncertainty is creating some risk and uncertainty in the economy," he said.
"It's not just about me, me, me or the little lady next door. It's a whole team effort as a country," Burkwald said.
Cassill said if the tax cuts are not extended, taxes will go back to how they were before the cuts were made in 2001 and 2003, but it's hard to gauge the impact now because people's economic situations have likely changed.
The Obama administration wants to keep taxes where they are for individuals who make less than $200,000 a year and families making less than $250,000 a year. Republicans want to extend all of president bush's cuts permanently.
WFMY News 2