The great weather provided interested voters the opportunity to come out in force to hear the 8th Congressional District Town Hall Forum. With a packed house of 8th Congressional constituents in attendance the forum continued as scheduled without our elected Congresswoman, Melissa Bean, who was once again MIA.
Moderated by the Mayor of Round Lake Beach, Rich Hill,
the questions began from cards submitted by the audience. At times it was a free-for-all with questions coming directly from the audience in response to the two candidates answers but eventually got back on track with Mayor Hill continuing with the questions. Candidates Joe Walsh and Bill Scheurer agreed on many of the issues but had significantly different ideas about how to balance the budget.
There were a lot of topics covered including the Obama Health Care Bill, illegal immigration, jobs, spending cuts, balancing the budget, and most of what you read about in the papers. The audience was allowed to ask questions from the floor and both candidates had an equal opportunity to respond.
One of the more interesting questions from the audience was regarding a portion of the new Health Care Bill that is rumored to say that all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax with the bulk of these new taxes starting in 2013 (presumably after Obama’s re-election). Both candidates seemed to drop the ball on this question when it came to answering it. According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review dated April 3, 2010, the following was printed:
“In his recent guest column regarding the impact of the health care bill, Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center claimed that a 3.8 percent tax on all home sales was a part of the recently passed legislation. This is inaccurate and needs to be corrected. The truth about the bill is that if you sell your home for a profit above the capital gains threshold of $250,000 per individual or $500,000 per couple then you would be required to pay the additional 3.8 percent tax on any gain realized over this threshold.
Most people who sell their homes will not be impacted by these new regulations. This is not a new tax on every seller, and that correction needs to be made. This tax is aimed at so-called “high earners” – if you do not fall into that category you will not pay any extra taxes upon the sale of your home.”
Several of the many written questions submitted prior to the forum getting underway were directed to Congresswoman Melissa Bean for her response but those went unanswered due to her absenteeism. Candidate Walsh stated that all the questions would be submitted to her campaign in an effort to get her response. It was also mentioned that Bean is scheduled for a League of Women Voters forum to be held in Grayslake on October 20th.