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Local visits D.C. to talk tax policy

03-18-13 NelsonWebSHERIDAN — Dr. Nels A. Nelson III was asked to represent Wyoming’s 225,000 individual policy owners representing more than $42 billion in coverage recently in Washington, D.C.

In discussing why Congress should maintain the current tax status on retirement and insurance products, Nelson related that more than 75 million American families (two out of every three) rely on these products for financial protection and retirement. The 100-year-old favorable tax history dates back to 1913 and he stated, “the bottom line is that putting extra taxes on these products would do more harm than good.”

This is not the first time these taxes have been suggested.

In speaking with Wyoming Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, Nelson said these new tax burdens are not to the benefit of the American public. Nelson countered the testimony of Nina Olsen of the government’s taxpayer advocate service who told legislators the day before that, “Congress should strip every tax deduction and exclusion from the federal tax code for employer health insurance, pension payments, life insurance and annuity cash values and no tax benefit should be returned to the tax code unless Congress concludes that the public benefit of providing that benefit … outweighs the complexity it imposes on the taxpayers.”

Nelson said in Wyoming alone more than $587 million dollars was paid out in 2011 and the industry is paying out $1.5 billion every single day on life insurance, annuities, retirement products, long-term care insurance and disability income insurance. He added that the proposed legislation has the potential ability to radically transform not only an individual’s protection and retirement benefits, but our basic economy. Nelson said that it was important not to be a lobbyist, but just tell real stories of Wyoming residents who need help protecting families by not placing an additional tax burden on those who wish to plan ahead for themselves.

Nelson also told Wyoming’s congressmen that one out of every five dollars saved by Americans (20 percent of all long-term savings) is tied to these basic products and if anything happens to the “inside build up” of these life planning and retirement products everyone is going to be affected.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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