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WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement in regard to the bill (S.2478) introduced by Sens. Patty Murray and Susan Collins, which would preserve the Tax Time Savings Bond program. The program allows taxpayers the option to receive their tax refunds in the form of a paper U.S. savings bond and was set to expire at the end of the 2016 tax season. The U.S. Treasury Department ended the over-the-counter sale of paper savings bonds in 2012 and this program is now the only way to obtain a paper savings bond.
“Increasingly, government agencies – from the U.S. Department of Treasury to the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission – are making moves to deny individuals’ access to paper-based versions of important financial information and services, often without Congressional oversight or public input. Since the U.S Department of Treasury switched to online savings bonds, federal savings bond sales have plummeted from $1.7 billion in fiscal 2011 to $719 million in fiscal 2013.
“Many Americans prefer not to use online services and have concerns about online security. AF&PA thanks Senators Murray and Collins, and the other original cosponsors Senators McCaskill, King and Moran, for their efforts to protect the right of all U.S. citizens to have access to paper savings bonds as an investment tool, especially those who don’t have a bank account or regular access to the Internet.”
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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.