In 2013, Americans will pay more in social security taxes than they did last year.
In 2012, everyone put 4.2 percent of their income toward social security. This year, 6.2 percent of your income will go into the pot.
That's because the FICA tax rates that were in effect prior to 2011 have been reinstated.
Congress gave Americans a break on social security taxes when the economy tanked, but now that it's recovering, those pre-recession social security tax rates are reverting to what they were before.
"It's really what they were paying prior to two years ago. It's an increase in withholding from their paycheck, but it's not really a tax increase because they were paying the same rate prior to two years ago," says Maureen Parkhill, co-owner and manager of Liberty Tax Service in Tyler.
Parkhill says the lower tax rate was always temporary and was intended to boost the economy.
"People got used to having some extra income, and now they're going back to where it was a couple years ago," says Tyler Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Mullins.
Mullins doesn't expect to see the reinstated tax rate hurt the local economy, but it won't go unnoticed.
"It'll be interesting to see over the first couple of months... that people will cut back some of their spending," says Mullins.
Calculating how much more you'll be paying in social security taxes this year is simple. Take your salary and multiply it by .02. For example, somebody who makes $30,000 can now expect to pay $600 more this year in social security taxes than they did last year. To look at that monthly, divide by 12 and you get $50. That's how much less you'll be bringing home each month than you were before.
"People are very strict about their budgets, what they're taking home [and] what they can spend it on. It's usually allocated every single month. They don't have a lot -- if anything-- left over. So, to have an additional $50 or $60 dollars, taken out, it has an impact. It will be felt by a lot of families," Mullins says.
The average household income in East Texas, using 2012 data available from the counties, is just under $38,000.
The reinstatement of the tax rate means the average East Texas household will pay about $63 more a month in social security taxes.
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