The federal tax rebates -- about $300 for singles and $600 for couples -- have started coming.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
A Browns game. Home repairs. Vacation. They could be coming to your mailbox soon.
Income tax rebates are rolling into the Mahoning Valley area and those who've found them in the mail -- or are expecting them soon -- have found various ways to spend them.
Don Snowden Sr. of Youngstown said he's going to use his rebate to travel to Cleveland and watch the Browns play the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"That way I'll get something out of it instead of paying a bill," said Snowden, who's in his 50s.
"I'll pay the bills with mine," added Karen Harvey of Youngstown, who's 40-something.
Harvey said she appreciates the rebate because she believes much tax money is wasted.
"It's a good political move, but I don't know, in the long run, what the total benefit is," Snowden said.
The rebates -- up to $300 for singles and $600 for couples -- are among nearly 92 million tax rebates worth $38 billion being forwarded to Americans as part of $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax-relief package signed into law by President Bush in June.
To the bank: Roy Hunter, 63, of Carrollton received his $600 rebate check Monday.
"It went straight in the bank," said the construction worker. Half went into a checking account and the rest went to savings. He and his wife will likely use the money for a reclining chair or new freezer.
"I like it," Hunter said of the rebate. "After all, they get enough taxes from us."
Karen Raub's rebate check also came this week. "I think I'm just going to put it in the bank," said Raub, 52, of Austintown. She works at Delphi Packard Electric Systems. "I'm trying to sock some money away each time I get some for a new car."
"It's probably already spent. We'll probably pay a bill off with it," said Chris Connelly, 48, of Cortland. Although he said he's glad to get the rebate, he's not convinced that it will help the economy.
Planning fun: David Mancini, a Cingular Wireless salesman, said he hasn't received his $300 rebate yet, but he plans to use it for fun.
"I don't know. I'll probably go out and just relax," said the 22-year-old from Youngstown. "Maybe I'll go somewhere, buy a plane ticket and disappear for a while."
Sharon Terell of Alliance, also in her 40s, said she and her husband put their $600 rebate toward a new home they're building in Atwater. Terrell, a mother of three, said she has no problem with the rebate plan but suspects most families won't see a big difference from it.
Terry Dobson of New Middletown called the tax rebates a "stupid, foolish move just for political favoritism." Dobson, due to reasons related to his status as a business owner, won't receive a rebate.
"I don't think they should have rebated anything anyway. They're always crying that there's not enough money to do this, there's not enough money to do that," said Dobson, 46.
"Why didn't they take the money and put it toward people who don't have health care?" He voted for Bush's opponent, Al Gore.
Warren residents Eileen and William Groover spent their $600 rebate on electrical wiring. Eileen, 54, said they had hoped to cut it in half, but needed the full amount for the wiring.
The couple supports the rebate plan, added William, 59, an autoworker at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant.
Already gone: Ginny, 41, and John Mullins of Masury said they already spent their $300 rebate check. Half went into a Christmas savings account. Since they weren't expecting it anyway, they "blew the other half," said John, 31. They spent it on dinner and a movie.
Cindy Brown, 48, of Youngstown said she and her husband also were not proponents of the rebates. "Why give the rebates? Our understanding is that they're going to take it from us next year. Why bother?" she said.
"If they're so concerned about the deficit, why are they throwing money around? We just felt it was a poor move."
She said the couple placed their $300 rebate in a savings account.
Rey Notareschi, 45, of Poland said he and his wife will use their rebate toward remodeling a bathroom.
"I don't know what to think of it," said Notareschi, who works at the Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine. "I don't like it because they said they may have to dip into the Social Security and they said they weren't going to do that. I'd be very unhappy if the Bush administration would go and do that."
New Castle, Pa., resident Joseph Pace said he hadn't yet received his check but would put it into his 1993 GMC show truck, "Lone Wolf." The truck already has several special features including top lights, aluminum wheels and wolves painted on the sides.
"They should do it all the time," said Pace, 56, of the rebates. "Because the U.S. gets a lot of money off everybody."