At a political forum in Middle Township Wednesday, a Chamber of Commerce member asked U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo if the new federal health care bill included a 3.8 percent tax on real estate transactions.

"There is truth to that. We're trying to track that down," said LoBiondo.

C'mon congressman - you should know this answer (and so should the guy who asked you). But let me help.

Yes, there's a germ of truth. But the tax would apply only to couples whose income exceeds $250,000 - and, even then, only on the principal home-sale profits that exceed $500,000. In other words, it only applies to a very few, high-income people.

But the truth isn't half as sensational as the screeching posts circulating in the blogosphere, claiming this tax will hit Mr. and Mrs. Middle America for many thousands of dollars when they go to sell their little family home. We've gotten several letters hysterical about it. So has just about every other newspaper - and, I'll wager, so has LoBiondo's office.

Here's a great little resource to find out the truth about many of these Web rumors: Factcheck.org. That's where I found the information. (Just go to the site and search "real estate tax.")

I am truly surprised LoBiondo hasn't tracked this down yet. Or the guy who asked him - who happens to be a Realtor.

But hey, always happy to help.

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