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Federal income tax refunds higher than usual this year

By By PAT BAILEY

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKTV) -Vice President Joe Biden says Americans are seeing higher than usual income tax refunds this year. From housing credits to auto credits, millions of Americans took advantage of lucrative deals to save them money on the surface, and put even more in their pockets at tax time.

Jackson Hewitt Manager Patrick Shields says that in the 300 or so returns he filed, most were substantially more than in previous years. Shields says his customers were more than happy.

"Very happy," he said. "Some of them extremely happy."

Will those big tax refunds be effective and stimulate the economy like the stimulus bill was intended to do? That's a question on many people's minds. Utica College Professor of Economics Rick Fenner says that will depend on how the money is spent.

"If they use this money to spend down credit card debt or put it in the bank, then it's not going to have the stimulus effect at all," Fenner said. "On the other hand, if they go out and splurge to use this money to go on vacation or purchase something else, then it will continue to have a stimulus affect."

White House numbers show income tax refund amounts are up $260 from last year, with the average person seeing around $3,000, according to an Associated Press article.

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