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Middletown, Md., residents, including Harold Routzahn, Larry Bussard, Bill Lantz, all agree fiscal cliff could have 'scary' impact on Marylanders

6:16 PM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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MIDDLETOWN,  Md. (WUSA) -  In tonight's fiscal cliff notes: Maryland could be facing the biggest tax hikes in the nation if lawmakers on Capitol Hill can't reach a deal.

That's according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, which has calculated the median income for a family of four in Maryland to be nearly $106,000.

Andrea McCarren takes us to one town that's bracing for the worst.

 "Middletown I would say is a definite country town.I grew up right here on this street. I've either worked or lived on it all my life," said Middletown, Md., resident Harold Routzahn.

On Main Street, in Middletown, Maryland, time stands still.

  "It is the same way, identical, as it was in the 60s or 70s," Routzahn said of the Frederick county town.

Change doesn't come easily.

Larry Bussard has been cutting Bill Lantz' hair for 46 of his 88 years.

"I've said many times I'm kind of glad I'm the age I'm at," said Bussard.

 Change could soon be coming to Middletown and places like it across the state. A fall from the fiscal cliff could mean a tax increase of more than $7,000 for a median income family of four.

  "I feel sorry for the young people. They're the ones that are going to have to suffer more than we are," said Lantz.

Bussard added, "I got two grandkids. I would hate to be in their position. "

 "That's really scary," agreed Routzahn.

The only change suggested around here is for Capitol Hill.

  "It don't seem like the ones in Washington we send down there care too much about it either," said Lantz.

  "I would really just like to see that they get along better. Forget that you're Democrat or Republican. Try to make it work out for everybody," said Routzahn.

According to the Tax Foundation, Maryland would be hard hit because of its high median income and the fact that the expiration of the Alternative Minimum Tax means that the largest deductions-property, state and local taxes--would no longer be allowable.

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