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Lehigh Valley business owners respond to 'fiscal cliff' deal

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 02 2013 09:40:27 PM CST

Business owners respond to the cliff

Signed late Tuesday night, the "fiscal cliff" deal only increases the income tax on individuals making $400,000 or more and households making $450,000 or more.

It also extends tax credits for businesses, the working poor and extends unemployment benefits for one year.

However the deal does not address spending cuts and does nothing to prevent the Social Security payroll tax cut from expiring, adding a 2% federal tax increase to roughly 77% of Americans.

"At least they were able to compromise so that's a small step for Congress. It's kind of disappointing that it takes that much pressure to really get anything done through Congress” said Victor Salicetti, managing partner of AmericaVen, a systems integration company based out of Bethlehem.

Even though his business is going well and Salicetti recently hired four more employees, there's a bigger picture he says he needs to consider.

"The uncertainty of the economy, I think that's what leads to a lot of speculation and I think that affects more the business than anything else” he said.

Daniel Loitkis, with Dynalene, a company that creates fluids to transfer heat in Lehigh County, says it's that uncertainty that's kept him from expanding his work force.

"I stay up at night sometimes. Sooner or later, the fiscal cliff is going to happen again, and we're not going to be able to solve it" said Loitkis.

"It's more disappointing that it took this long and waited until the last minute and they keep kicking the can as they say” added Salicetti.

Tuesday's deal did not address two impending issues: spending cuts and the debt ceiling.

Both will need to be addressed within the next two months.