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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6169, Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 8, Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012; Providing for Proceedings from August 3, 2012, Through September 7, 2012; Providing for Consideration of Motions to Suspend the Rules; and Waiving Requirement of Clause 6(1) of Rule XIII with Respect to Consideration of Certain Resolutions

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Madam Speaker, although I have great affection for the gentleman from South Carolina, I am so enthusiastic that Ranking Member Slaughter is managing this bill.

I rise in great opposition to H.R. 8, but in enthusiastic support for H.R. 15. This is a gift to America's women, working women, mothers.

And let me give you the role: every taxpayer will get tax relief on $250,000. That, by the evidence of this letter from small businesses, will be 97, 98 percent of small businesses. And they are women--most of them, many of them--women who are in their homes having a one-person small business, women who have hired people in a five-person small business, women who are thinking of getting ready to start their small businesses.

Then, of course, the child tax credit. What a boon for working mothers and others who need that desperate relief. And then, of course, the marriage tax relief. EITC, if you come from the gulf region, we were saved by the earned income tax credit for Hurricane Katrina victims. They were able to get some minimal relief to carry them through. The higher education tax credit. The adoption tax credit. And as I indicated, the child care tax credit. A tax credit, as well, for expensing in small businesses.

What are my colleagues and my friends on the other side talking about? A job-killing, economy-killing, deficit-busting H.R. 8 is not the way to go.

So I am enthusiastically here to tell the women of America that this is a vote for you today. Those women who get up every day, who design a way to make a living when there is no job--these women, along with men, who have come into understanding what small business can do for America.

I'm excited because I consider the 18th Congressional District to be a host of small businesses. Everywhere I go, individuals are talking about their small businesses.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I will submit into the Record, Madam Speaker, a letter from small businesses of the Main Street Alliance opposing H.R. 8 and supporting this legislation the Democrats are offering.

This is a celebration for women. This vote today will enhance opportunities for women, small businesses, and families across America.

[Begin Insert]

Madam Speaker. I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 8 and H.R. 6169, and ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together in support of regular order for any proposed tax legislation, whether it comes to the House Floor today, tomorrow, or next year. The Rule before us is structured and I note that is titled H. Res. 747, but unlike the jetliners that we Americans use every day, this bill and the Rule are not yet ready for take-off.

House Republicans released a proposal, H.R. 6169, that would relax some of Congress's normal procedural rules in order to enact an overhaul of the tax code--so long as the tax overhaul meets the objectives laid out in the House budget plan authored by House Budget Committee Chairman PAUL RYAN.

Their proposal states:

``The United States tax code is far too complex and bloated. It forces American citizens and small business owners to focus on filling out tax forms instead of tending to their families and businesses. It is clear to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that real, fundamental reforms to our tax code are long overdue. In fact, our revenue laws have not been substantially reformed in 50 years,'' Chairman DREIER said.

I couldn't agree more with Chairman DREIER but by putting a stranglehold on the tax reform process before we even begin is tantamount to forcing debate on any tax reform bill while potentially limiting input.

H.R. 6169 lays out several components that the tax overhaul legislation must have in order to be passed through the easier legislative procedure.

All of these components seem identical to those laid out in the Ryan Plan that we witnessed in the Spring--it's like a bad B movie rerun.

The required components of the tax overhaul include:

replacing the personal income tax rates with just two rates, 10 percent and 25 percent (or less)

repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, AMT

reducing the statutory corporate income tax rate to 25 percent (or less)

adoption of a ``territorial'' tax system (exempting offshore profits of corporations from U.S. taxes)

collecting revenue equal to between 18 and 19 percent of GDP

The ``findings'' section of the bill states that revenue will ``rise to 21.2 percent of GDP under current law,'' meaning its proposed revenue target of between 18 and 19 percent of GDP is an explicit cut in revenue.

Like the Republican Plan, the bill introduced by my colleagues Ways and Means Chairman CAMP and Rules Committee Chair DREIER, does not say which tax loopholes and tax subsidies should be closed to ensure that the tax system still collects revenue equaling between 18 and 19 percent of GDP even after the plan's steep rate reductions and the repeal of the AMT are in effect.

My sense is that even if those with incomes exceeding $1 million were forced to give up all the tax expenditures RYAN could possibly want to take away from them--all their itemized deductions, tax credits, the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance and the deduction for health insurance for the self-employed--even then the net result for these taxpayers would be an average income tax cut of $187,000 in 2014.

That's because the income tax rate reductions RYAN proposed are so deep that they would far outweigh the loss of all these tax loopholes and tax subsidies.

I have consistently supported and voted for middle class tax cuts, as I did two years ago when I voted for the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, and the extension of unemployment benefits.

I am deeply saddened that the fate of unemployed, low and middle income Americans has been held hostage by the insistence by Republicans that this legislation include a giveaway to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans that is going to irresponsibly expand the already large deficit.

I have spoken to and heard from many fine, patriotic, hardworking middle income Americans from Houston, from the great state of Texas, and all across the nation. Middle class American families and small businesses are deeply concerned about our troubled economy, the skyrocketing national deficit, high unemployment rates, job creation, and sorely needed extension of the tax relief and unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of this month.

The Republican bill temporarily extends for one year, through 2013, all the reduced tax rates and other tax benefits enacted in 2001 and 2003 that are scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. The measure maintains the maximum estate tax rate of 35 percent while retaining the exemption amount of $5 million, provides a two-year ``patch'' to prevent the alternative minimum tax, AMT, from hitting over 27 million taxpayers and allows small businesses to deduct an increased amount of their capital expenditures for another year.

I feel like we have been down this path before and I recall many of my colleagues staking a claim to fiscal responsibility.

Well, I ask in all sincerity, which bill is more fiscally responsible: H.R. 8, which blows a hole in the deficit, or H.R. 15, the Democratic alternative which keeps the Bush Tax rates in place for the people who truly need tax relief.

This is the same Republican Congress which has asked for a balanced budget amendment. It has codified the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is possibly unconstitutional, and has had no impact on jobs and the unemployment problem. Yet today they want us to vote on a tax increase for the top 2 percent. This illustrates what happens when Congress does not work together in a bipartisan manner, laboring for the American people. We must work together and compromise.

The Senate gave us a layup by producing a bill last week which is virtually identical to the Democratic Substitute. All we have to do is act like Olympians and pass it.

The American people are asking the President and Members of Congress to move swiftly and take decisive action to help restore our economy in a fiscally responsible manner. I am disappointed that Republicans have insisted on holding tax cuts for working and middle class families' hostage in order to benefit the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

I would like to thank President Obama for his determined leadership, support and commitment to protecting important tax relief issues for middle-income Americans and the nation's small businesses and farmers during these challenging economic times. I would also like to thank all the Members and their staff who worked diligently to bring this essential legislation to the House floor today in an attempt to do all that we can to protect the American people and move this nation toward fiscally responsible economic recovery.

I support those provisions of H.R. 8 which provide relief for middle-class families and small businesses who will see their taxes go down and get much needed certainty. But I cannot in good conscience support tax relief for millionaires and billionaires at a time when others need help just to make ends meet.

Unlike those provisions of H.R. 8 which benefit America's struggling middle class, I do not support the provisions of this legislation which condition that desperately needed relief upon the unconscionably high cost of providing an unnecessary, expensive giveaway to the wealthiest Americans by providing a 2-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while keeping their estate tax rate at 35 percent on estates valued at more than $5 Million for individuals and more than $10 Million for couples.

These giveaways to the wealthiest Americans during these dire economic times needlessly add billions of dollars to our skyrocketing deficit yet create no value for our ailing economy since these tax cuts are not tied to job creation and preservation.

ESTATE TAX AMENDMENT

I offered an amendment that would have set the Estate Tax at reasonable levels. My amendment would have allowed estates valued at $3.5 million or less to pay 35 percent, estates valued between $3.5 million and $10 million to pay a 45 percent rate, and estates over $10 million to pay a 55 percent rate. This commonsense amendment would have restored a sense of fairness to H.R. 8.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the 2009 estate tax rules already are extremely generous, tilting in favor of the wealthy. The Tax Policy Center estimates that if policymakers reinstated the 2009 rules:

The estates of 99.7 percent of Americans who die would owe no estate tax at all in 2013. Only the estates of the wealthiest 0.29 percent of Americans who die--about 7,450 people nationwide in 2013--would owe any tax.

Moreover, under the 2009 rules, the small number of estates that were taxable would face an average effective tax rate of 19.1 percent, far below the statutory estate-tax rate of 45 percent. In other words, 81 percent of the value of these estates would remain after the tax, on average. An estate tax that exempts the estates of 997 of every 1,000 people who die and leaves in place an average of 81 percent of the very wealthiest estates is hardly a confiscatory or oppressive tax.

Moreover, only 60 small farm and business estates in the entire country would owe any estate tax in 2013, under a reinstatement of the 2009 rules, and these estates would face an average effective tax rate of just 11.6 percent. Failing to tie tax cuts to job creation is irresponsible since it exacerbates our growing deficit without bolstering job creation.

My amendment does not address the step-up in basis. The exemption level and rate are consistent with parts of the estate tax proposal included in the President's FY2010 and FY2011 Budgets and H.R 16, the intelligent estate tax proposal being put forth by my colleague Mr. LEVIN of the Ways and Means Committee.

CLASSROOM EXPENSE DEDUCTION AMENDMENT

My second amendment would have provided tax relief to school teachers by providing them a deduction for qualified out-of-pocket classroom expenses of $250 dollars, whether or not they itemize their deductions. You may recall Mr. Speaker that the

President included this proposal in his Budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

I understand the tremendous personal costs incurred by educators with little or no classroom budget. According to a 2006 National School Supply and Equipment Association Retail Awareness Study, teachers spend an average of $493 out of pocket on school supplies for their own classrooms.

Seven percent of teachers surveyed said they plan to spend more than $1,000 of their personal finances on supplies. As education budgets face major shortfalls in the recession, that amount is expected to increase significantly.

Beginning in 2002 the IRS allowed for an above-the-line deduction for classroom expenses of up to $250. The educator expense deduction allows teachers to write off some expenses that they incur to provide books, supplies, and other equipment and materials for their classrooms. I introduced this amendment and would like to acknowledge the work of my colleagues who have put forth legislation advocating this deduction. America's teachers from Texas to Maine to Florida to Washington deserve our renewed appreciation for their commitment to educating future generations.

Our children should not have to suffer because our teachers are given a Hobson's Choice, forced to choose between using their own finances to effectively teach a class or forced to cut corners due to budgetary restrictions. We promote an increased quality of education by lessening the financial burden on them when they are trying to go above and beyond their responsibilities is certainly warranted.

While I am opposed to the portions of H.R. 8 that amount to an expensive giveaway to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, I want to emphasize that I fully support job-creation and job creators. I also support President Obama's vision for change. I share his commitment to fighting for low- and middle-income Americans who are the backbone of this country and our economy.

However, this legislation, H.R. 8, especially as it pertains to tax cuts for the top 2 percent of Americans and estate tax provisions that are regressive and inflate the deficit, does not comport with this vision. I have serious misgivings about extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of our deficit, especially if these tax cuts are not targeted towards job creation.

DEFICIT AND TAXATION

You may recall that in the Budget, the Administration calls for individual tax reform that: cuts the deficit by $1.5 trillion, including the expiration of the high-income 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. As a matter of sound fiscal policy, I am supportive of this effort. I recognize the putative economic benefits that many attribute to the Bush Tax Cuts, but we must ask ourselves are they affordable? There is no amount of dynamic scoring that will help penetrate the deficit.

The President's budget also eliminated inefficient and unfair tax breaks for millionaires while making all tax breaks at least as good for the middle class as for the wealthy; and observes the Buffett Rule that no household making more than $1 million a year pays less than 30 percent of their income in taxes.

The individual income tax is a hodgepodge of deductions, exemptions, and credits that provide special benefits to selected groups of taxpayers and favored forms of consumption and investment. These tax preferences make the income tax unfair because they can impose radically different burdens on two different taxpayers with the same income. In essence, Congress has been picking winners and losers.

There is absolutely no justification for huge tax cuts. The wealthiest tax brackets should not profit at the expense of programs keeping struggling families from poverty.

Bear in mind, the Republican's 2012 budget cut $2 trillion dollars more than President Obama's Debt Commission advised, and those cuts come from vital social services and safety nets for low-income families, children and seniors.

Tax expenditures also reduce the economy's productivity because decisions on earning, spending, and investment are driven by tax considerations rather than the price signals that a well-balanced, and fair free market economy produces. These expenditures, whether for individuals or corporations, are really no different than the much ballyhooed entitlement programs, but they have cute names and fancy lobbyists.

Moreover, tax expenditures make the tax system excessively complex for honest taxpayers who are trying to comply with the law while seeking the benefits to which they are legally entitled.

The system is so complex that most taxpayers--even those with low incomes--now use either a professional tax preparer or tax software. A one-page form shouldn't require a tax preparer who earns a percentage of the return, or a fee.

It is not justifiable, especially when some commentators like to point out that a number of taxpayers pay no tax--well they somehow conveniently forget to mention that these tax scofflaws making $30,000 dollars a year more than make up for it with a long list of regressive taxes at the state and local level.

The alternative minimum tax, or AMT, was initially designed to ensure that all high-income taxpayers paid some income tax, has become the poster child for the tax system's failure, requiring

Congress to enact increasingly expensive temporary patches to prevent the AMT from encroaching on millions of middle class households particularly those with children, in a web of pointless high tax rates, complexity, and unfairness.

On the deficit reduction front it is important to remember the economic crisis that the President inherited. I remember back in 2008 and 2009, when we experienced the worst recession since the Great Depression. The economy actually contracted, it shrunk, at a rate of almost 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

We lost 800,000 private-sector jobs in January of 2009 alone, and unemployment was surging. Those are the conditions the President inherited--the car was swerving into the ditch. He was not the driver, but he was asked to come in on literally his first day of office, roll-up his sleeves and figure out how to prevent the car from rolling farther down the hill. If you'll recall we also faced a housing market that was in crisis, and we faced a financial market crisis as well that threatened to set off a global financial collapse. We have come a long way since then yet there is more work to be done.

The cloud looming over this Congress is an unintended ``triple-witching hour'' of tax increases that will take effect at the beginning of 2013.

The expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts, the end of the recently extended Payroll Tax Cut, and increases in capital gains and dividends taxation will shock the conscience and wallets of the American people. That is why Congress needs to enact bi-partisan legislation that helps lower the deficit but does not wreck havoc on the financial soul of the middle class.

But again, tax reform that lowers the rate, reduces the deficit, and does not pick winners and losers is not easy, but let's not forget, if President Reagan and then-Speaker Tip O'Neill could do it in 1986, anything is possible.

The so-called ``99ers have been sincerely looking for work for a very long time and have run out of resources to provide for their families and pay their mortgages, pay their bills and buy food. They simply want and need a job to pay for these obligations. H.R. 8 proposes to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, yet fails to provide for the so-called ``99ers.''

H.R. 8 unfortunately is not ready for prime-time.

[End Insert]

THE MAIN STREET ALLIANCE,

Seattle, WA, August 1, 2012.

To: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Re Small business support for ending the extra Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent.

DEAR REPRESENTATIVE: As small business owners, we urge you to end the special Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2 percent of income earners, or household income over $250,000 a year. This is the right thing to do for small businesses, our local economies, and America.

The debate over the Bush tax cuts has been clouded by claims that ending special breaks for the top 2 percent of income earners would impact many small businesses. As small business owners, we know these claims don't square with the facts.

In reality, only a tiny fraction--roughly 3 percent--of all American taxpayers who report any form of business income on their personal tax returns would be impacted by a change in tax rates for income over $250,000. Even this small fraction includes hedge fund managers, high-powered corporate lawyers, and K Street lobbyists, so the number of real small businesses affected is even fewer.

Furthermore, the ``trickle down'' theory used to justify extra tax cuts at the top simply doesn't work. When the Congressional Budget Office examined close to a dozen options to jumpstart economic activity and job creation in early 2010, it found that extending special tax breaks for the richest Americans was the least effective of all 11 options for creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Finally, claims about how ending these special tax cuts will impact job creation ignore the most basic fact about what drives small business hiring. Customers drive small business hiring, not tax cuts. We hire when we see opportunities, when demand exceeds the capacity of our current workforce, not because of a tax cut on our take-home income.

Small businesses need more customers. How do we get there? Build roads and bridges, invest in education, hire teachers and first responders--this will create local jobs, inject money into local economies, and bring more customers into our businesses. But we won't have the resources to do these things if we take the nearly $1 trillion we would raise from ending the extra tax cuts for income over $250,000 and hand it right back in another giveaway to the top.

We urge you to stand with real small businesses and end the special Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent.

Sincerely,
Charles Carter, Boy Genius World Productions, Eureka Springs, AR; William Wallin, Wallin Mental Medical, Richmond, CA; Penny Shaw, Financial Affairs, Cooper City, FL; Ron Dinsdale, Midvale Pinacotheca, Huxley, IA; Laura Schlegel, Mario's Mondo Cafe, Chicago, IL; Iris Marreck, Iris B. Branding & Communications, Northfield, IL; Maude Varela, Kidutopia, New Orleans, LA; Thomas Dougherty, Pancro Cinema Products, Grass Valley, CA; Marian Gallagher, Nube de Helado Software, Inc., San Diego, CA; Jena Schill, Hair stylist, Ames, IA; James Berge, Berge Farms, Kensett, IA; Kristin Aufmann, Aufmann Associates, Ltd., Mount Prospect, IL; Kyle Schulz, Kar-Fre Flowers, Sycamore, IL; Brian England, British American Auto Care Inc., Columbia, MD; Timothy Larive, Larive Appraisal Services, Mount Shasta, CA; Laurie Chadwick, Bed and Biscuits, Santa Cruz, CA; Natalie Dinsdale, TaDah Salon, Ames, IA; ReShonda Young, Alpha Express Inc, Waterloo, IA; David Borris, Hel's Kitchen Catering, Northbrook, IL; Mary Noel Black, The UPS Store @ Citiplace, Baton Rouge, LA; Catherine Cretu, Anaconda Press, Inc., Forestville, MD.
Jerry Alexandratos, Alexandratos Rental Properties, Frederick, MD; Timothy Floyd, Floyd Consulting, Augusta, ME; Halcyon Blake, Halcyon Yarn, Inc., Bath, ME; Jerry Provencher, MRPS, Bath, ME; Beverly Evans Messer, Electrolysis by Bev, Belfast, ME; Jim Riley, Black Dog Services, Berwick, ME; Alexander Jackimovicz, Jackimovicz Electric, Boothbay, ME; Gloria Coomer, Solarmarine LLC, Brooksville, ME; Steven Klockow, Healing Relationships, Brunswick, ME; Amy Smith, Social Insight, Arrowsic, ME; Gary Friedmann, Bar Harbor Community Farm, Bar Harbor, ME; George Waldman, MainePhotoJournalism.com, Bath, ME; William Savedoff, Social Insight, Bath, ME; Dr Rebekka Freeman, Partners for Change, Belfast, ME; Patricia Vigue, Music Plus, Biddeford, ME; Joan Lee Hunter, Fifth House Lodge Writers' Retreat, Bridgton, ME; Harold Roberts, Coryell Clayworks, Brunswick, ME; Moreen Halmo, Psychologist, Brunswick, ME; Bill Tibbetts, Brookside Auto Repair, Augusta, ME; Emily Henry, Chickadee Hill Flowers, Bar Harbor, ME; Michael Kelly, Michael Thorne Kelly, Inc., Bath, ME; Susan Lubner, Yoga in Bath, Bath, ME; Carol P.
Gater, Wealthy Poor House B&B, Belfast, ME; Frank Svatek, Photographer, Biddeford, ME; Ken Converse, Quality Images, Bridgton, ME; Daniel Atkins, Fine Blade Carpentry, Brunswick, ME; Robert Theberge, RC Theberge GC, Inc., Brunswick, ME.

Laurie Garrec, Westcon Mfg Inc, Brunswick, ME; Anna Dembska, Publishing, Camden, ME; Mark Braun, Mark Braun, MD, Cape Elizabeth, ME; David A. Woolsey, David Woolsey Violinmaker, Ellsworth, ME; Melanie A. Collins, Melanie's Home Childcare, Falmouth, ME; William Berlinghoff, Oxton House Publishers, LLC, Farmington, ME; Nancy Glista, Glista Jewelry, Franklin, ME; Carson Lynch, The Gorham Grind, Gorham, ME; Steve Workman, Workman Management Consulting, Kittery, ME; Jennifer Porter, Honey Tree Films, Buxton, ME; Constance Jordan, Behavioral Health Resources, Cape Elizabeth, ME; Mary Ellen Serina, Paradise Studio, East Boothbay, ME; Edward Grohoski, Ed's Electric Inc., Ellsworth, ME; Ned Kitchel, Quaker Marine Supply Co, Falmouth, ME; Emery Goff, The Old Barn Annex Antiques, Farmington, ME; David Hutchinson, Checkout Convenience Stores, Glenburn, ME; Doris Luther, Mediation & Conflict Resolution Services, Hollis, ME; Edward Walworth, MD, Retired Surgeon, Lewiston, ME; Mallory Hattie, Raising Canine Maine Dog Training, Buxton, ME; Scott Cronenweth, Freelance writer, Cape Elizabeth, ME; Sandra Fayle, Faraway Antique Shop, East Millinocket, ME; Kathryn Gannon, Gannon-Janelle Interiors, Falmouth, ME; Sandra Stanton, Artist, Farmington, ME; Beth Labaugh, Kennebec Therapeutics, Fayette, ME; Elizabeth Beane, Clinical Social Worker, Private Practice, Gorham, ME; Gary McGrane, GT McGrane Builders, Jay, ME; Craig Saddlemire, Round Point Movies, Lewiston, ME.

Mike Relac, Fox Hill Associates, Inc., Limington, ME; Cheryl L. Wilder, Pine Street Redemption Center, Madison, ME; John Sweet, Sweet Timber Frames, Mount Desert, ME; Marla Bottesch, Snowbound Books, Norridgewock, ME; Dotty Caldwell, Dorothy Caldwell, LCPC, Penobscot, ME; Elizabeth Della Valle, Elizabeth A Della Valle, AICP, Portland, ME; Joel Bolton, Internet Island Web Development, Portland, ME; Jennifer Lunden, The Center for Creative Healing, Portland, ME; Abi Morrison, Red Bird Acupuncture, Rockland, ME; Scott Gaiason, Bear Wood, Lisbon Falls, ME; Susan D'Alessandro, Maine Nature & Nostalgia, Millinocket, ME; Jessie Greenbaum, Therapeutic Massage, Mount Desert, ME; Irja Frank, Frank Translations, Orono, ME; Cynthia L. Cochran, Cynthia L Cochran, CPA, Portland, ME; Martha Fenton, Freelance writer, Portland, ME; Cecile Deroche-Cain, Musician, Portland, ME; Mary Zarate, Z Fabrics, Portland, ME; Ginger Woods, Self-employed, Rumford, ME; Elizabeth Como, Winter Journeys, Lovell, ME; John Ackerman, Residence, Mount Desert, ME; Winston Mctague, Jr, Mctague Logging, Newport, ME; Geno Scalzo, Shipwright, Owls Head, ME; Gary Ameika, Dune Marketing, Portland, ME; Dr. Wendy Pollock, Inner Shores, Portland, ME; Barbara McKim, Psychologist--Private Practice, Portland, ME; Joanne Dunlap, Mo's Variety, Rangeley, ME; Susan Littlefield, Echo Farm Pottery, Saco, ME.

Mattthew B. Westerlund, Matt Westerlund Financial Services, Sanford, ME; Shahzad Kirmani, VisionMaster, Inc., Scarborough, ME; Frank Ridley, Different Drummer Workshop, Solon, ME; Priscilla Skerry, Healing Routes, South Portland, ME; Ann Breeden, Spring Woods Gallery, Sullivan, ME; John H. Noyes, The Picture Framer, Inc., Topsham, ME; Earl Morse, Waterford Design, Waterford, ME; Bill Nave, Bill Nave Consulting, Winthrop, ME; Mary Campbell, Everyday Wines, Ann Arbor, MI; Edwin Farrarr AE Profit Solutions, Scarborough, ME; Joe Thompson, Salt Pond Rowing, Sedgwick, ME; Bonnie Jackson, Bonnie Jackson Remodeling, South Portland, ME; Artis Bernard, Inleaf Press, South Portland, ME; Eileen Mielenhausen, Healing & Expressive Arts Retreats of Maine, Surry, ME; Seth Hall, S & J Llama LLC, Waldoboro, ME; John O'Donnell, Tilton & O'Donnell Law Offices, Waterville, ME; David Mercer, Mercer & Sons, Yarmouth, ME; Steve Koch, Midnight Security & Communications Inc, Flint, MI; Allegra Kirmani, Heart Art Studios, Inc, Scarborough, ME; Pat Berger, The Pond, Sidney, ME; Georgia Williamson, Georgia Deveres Studio, South Portland, ME; William Clarke, CIMPAC INC, St George, ME; David Hynd, Carpentry, Thomaston, ME; Mitch Kihn, Mid-Maine Forestry, Warren, ME; Tori Stenbak, Stenbak Law Offices, PA, Westbrook, ME; Chris Barbour, Barbour Computing, York, ME; Mary Bridge, Hip Hoopla LLC, Chesterfield, MO.

James Hoffmann, Hoffmann/Morgan Architects, Missoula, MT; Elizabeth Wood, Crossroads Veterinary Clinic, Cortland, NY; Ann Stanley, Radiant Health Acupuncture and Massage, LTD, Bend, OR; Michael O'Shea, Tiffany and O'Shea, Inc, Happy Valley, OR; Karen Mccarthy, Madras Garden Depot, Madras, OR; Vincent Alvarez, Peanuts on the Half Shell, Milwaukie, OR; Thomas Karwaki, CAI, Portland, OR; Michael Schulte, Joe's Garage, Portland, OR; Steve Hanrahan, Mirador Community Store, Portland, OR; Kent Watson, Kent Watson & Associates, Missoula, MT; Freddy Castiblanco, Terraza 7, Elmhurst, NY; Kate Lindburg, Animal Crackers Pet Supply, Corvallis, OR; Peter Bluett, Pete Bluett Sculpture, Lake Oswego, OR; Barbara Byram, Barbara Byram Consulting, Medford, OR; Jim Gilbert, Northwoods Nursery, Molalla, OR; Sherry Dirks, Gray Bear Construction Co., Portland, OR; Samuel Pardue, Lensbaby, Portland, OR; Peter Rossing, Muse Art and Design, Portland, OR; J. Kelly Conklin, Foley-Waite Associates Inc, Bloomfield, NJ; Greg Nickle, Nickle & Associates, Tulsa, OK; Brian McDonald, Gresham Music, Gresham, OR; Karen Alexander-Brown, Wind Song at the Sea Gypsy, Lincoln City, OR; Mark Kellenbeck, BrainJoy LLC, Medford, OR; John Mullin, Amallegory Productions, Oregon City, OR; Bruce Chaser, Hawthorne Wellness Center, Portland, OR; Moses Ross, M. J. Ross Group, Inc., Portland, OR; Deborah and John Field, Paperjam Press, Portland, OR.

Judith Wallace, Serenity Shop, Portland, OR; Brian Setzler, CPA, TriLibrium, Portland, OR; Hank Keeton, Keeton Corporation, Scotts Mills, OR; Aylene Geringer, The Chocolate Box, Silverton, OR; Gary Mazzilli, Outsource Estimating Inc., Hayes, VA; Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, WA; Robert Jekel, Parkade Hobbies, Kennewick, WA; Diana Thompson, Harmony SoapWorks, Ocean Park, WA; Dan Emerson, Summit View Pet Clinic, Puyallup, WA; Tamara Maher, Tamara B Maher PC, Portland, OR; Jack Coelho, Vital Body Studio, Portland, OR; Victor Madge, Architecture, Silverton, OR; Terrell McDaniel, Hughes McDaniel and Associates, Hendersonville, TN; Diane Middaugh, Quik Tan, Bellevue, WA; Dante Montoya, Dante Lee Montoya CPA, Kennewick, WA; Allan Willis, Tri-City Music, Kennewick, WA; Carolyne Hart, Olympia Frameworks, Olympia, WA; Laura Waite, Jay's Professional Automotive, Renton, WA; KB Mercer, Traveling Lantern, Portland, OR; Jose Gonzalez, Tu Casa real Estate, Salem, OR; Jason Freilinger, Freilinger Electronics, Inc., Silverton, OR; Martha Eberle, WildWoods of Texas, Dripping Springs, TX; Ben Knudsen, DIGS, Bellingham, WA; Rick Van Heel, Music Machine, Kennewick, WA; Consuelo Gomez, Marty K Inc., Mercer Island, WA; Randy Eakman, Finish Craft, Pasco, WA; Sarah Stegner, Again and A Gain, Seattle, WA.

Eli Reich, Alchemy Goods, Seattle, WA; Beth Sanders, Athena Video Arts, Seattle, WA; Dan McComb, BizNik, Seattle, WA; Jody Hall, Cupcake Royale, Seattle, WA; Laureen Kelly, Einstein Signs, Seattle, WA; Frank Taylor, Frank's Barber/Salon, Seattle, WA; Kathryn Hooks, J.O.Y Unlimited, Seattle, WA; Tarek Gelate, Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant, Seattle, WA; Beckie Lindley, Merry Tails & Dog Alley, Seattle, WA; Valeriy Arrymanon, Alliuan, Inc, Seattle, WA; Ed Whitfield, BBQ Pit, Seattle, WA; Nicole Miller, Blackbird, Seattle, WA; Keith Gormezano, Dr. Quick Books, Inc., Seattle, WA; Peter Aaron, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA; Eduardo Revelo, Guaracos Tacos, Seattle, WA; Yong Kim, Jackson Cleaners, Seattle, WA; Malia Keene, Magpie, Seattle, WA; Mary Clark, Merryweather Books, Seattle, WA; Annie Davis, Annie's Nannies Inc, Seattle, WA; Joline El-Hai, Bella Luz Studio, Seattle, WA; Joshua Huisenga, Chalkbox Creative, LLC, Seattle, WA; Berhane Amanuel, East African Imports, Seattle, WA; JK Burwell, Family Heritage, Seattle, WA; Theo Martin, Island Soul, Seattle, WA; Heather Caldwell, Kismet Salon, Seattle, WA; Terry, Many Many Moons, Seattle, WA; Jack Burg, Montlake Mousse, Seattle, WA; Dale Russ, Morning Dew Productions, Seattle, WA; Mohammed Almatn, Professional Copy/Print, Seattle, WA; Wasif Qadri, Shalimar Indian/Pakistani Cuisine, Seattle, WA.

Brian Wells, Tougo Coffee, Seattle, WA; Anil Shrestha, University Food & Deli, Seattle, WA; Mari Cook, Voyeur, Seattle, WA; Steven Hall, MD, Steven M. Hall, MD, Snoqualmie, WA; Eben Cole, Cole Music Co, Spokane, WA; Jason Berg, Infinity Fitness, Spokane, WA; Carl Medeiros, Panache Clothing, Seattle, WA; Eduardo Marlo, Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, Seattle, WA; Jason Grimes, Spin Cycle, Seattle, WA; Mohammed Toure, Toure Apparel, Seattle, WA; Lois Ko, University Haagen Dais, Seattle, WA; Park, Western Beauty Supply, Seattle, WA; Mark Gerard, Advanced Radon, Spokane, WA; John Frian, Frian Farms, Spokane, WA; Nate Coming, Mark's Guitar Shop, Spokane, WA; Pirkko Karhunen, Pirkko, Seattle, WA; Ben Jenkins, Shadowland, Seattle, WA; Ryan Calkins, Statements, Seattle, WA; Kirk Strong, University Ave Barber, Seattle, WA; Andrew Park, University Teriyaki, Seattle, WA; Deborah Cziske, Cascade Industrial Supply, Shoreline, WA; Michael Bonnes, Brooklyn Deli, Spokane, WA; Rick Ericksen, Halpins, Spokane, WA; Larry Lent, Mr. J's Take & Bake Pizza, Spokane, WA; Janine Vaughn, Revival Lighting, Spokane, WA; Mollie Fenton, Fenton/Stahl Gallery, Walla Walla, WA; James Kytonen, Violin Works, Spokane, WA; Wayne Chabre, Wayne Chabre Sculptor, Walla Walla, WA; Rob Robinson, Building Dynamics LLC, Walla Walla, WA.

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