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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

President Proposes Tax Break for Genealogists

A Genealogue News Flash [What's That?]
In his State of the Union address this evening, President Bush proposed changes to the tax code that would benefit the nation's family historians.

"These people," said the President, "work hard. It's hard work genealogic. . .alizing, and it's time that we recognize the sacrifices they make every day."

If approved by Congress, Bush's plan would make genealogical expenses such as database subscriptions and microfilm rental fees tax-deductible, and would allow genealogists to claim their deceased ancestors as dependents.

At one point in the speech, President Bush gestured toward a woman seated beside the First Lady.

"Up there in the gallery is a lady named Millie Newman. She's a genealogist from Clarkdale, Arizona. Millie wrote me a letter . . . said she spends $2,000 a year researching her family history. One day her daughter—five years old—comes up to her and asks why they only eat two meals a day. Millie had to tell her daughter they couldn't afford breakfast because of the high price of photocopies. That's just not right, and it shouldn't happen in America."

The plan was immediately attacked by Democrats, who accused the President of kowtowing to lobbyists in the genealogy industry.

"It's the same old story," said Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). "This is just like when he gave Ancestry.com a no-bid contract to rebuild the 1890 census."

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