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Lipinski: Tax Reform Bill Must Benefit Middle Class and Small Businesses (November 3, 2017)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) released the following statement today:

“Yesterday, House Republicans released their tax reform legislative proposal.  There is a lot to their bill, and I’m still in the process of assessing what is included, as well as its ramifications for my constituents, the State of Illinois, and our national economy.  As I noted in an op-ed I released this week, it will be important for me to see how this tax reform bill will affect the middle class, both in my district and across the country.

“That said, on my initial review, there are some worrisome changes and concepts in this bill.  The bill would eliminate many deductions and credits that directly affect middle-class families’ pocketbooks, including the deductions for medical expenses and student loan interest, the employer deduction for workers’ public transit benefits, and the adoption tax credit.  It would also replace the state and local tax deduction with a limited local property tax deduction.  While we must consider any tax bill as a whole, changes like these rightly worry American families.  The overall bill must promote economic security and pursuit of the American Dream for the middle class. 

“I am also concerned that the wealthy could be getting a disproportionate benefit from this tax bill.  For example, the eventual elimination of the estate tax, which hits a very, very small number of Americans, will add tens of billions of dollars of debt.  I’m eagerly awaiting an independent study of how the proposal changes the distribution of the tax burden among various income levels, as well as between families and corporations.

“There is some positive movement in terms of providing tax relief for small businesses in the plan, although the proposal is fairly complex and it will take some time for analysis to determine its consequences.  I agree that we need to help small businesses be more competitive in order to hire and invest more, but we shouldn’t be picking winners and losers or creating a new, more complicated tax code.

“I regret that Republican leadership has not yet used tax reform as an opportunity to increase investment in our nation’s infrastructure and shore up the Highway Trust Fund.  I will continue to advocate for infrastructure to be addressed in this bill.  Finally, I’m greatly concerned about the deficit effect of this legislation, which the Joint Committee on Taxation has initially estimated would add over $1.5 trillion to our national debt. 

“Nonetheless, I will remain engaged in order to learn more, and to advocate for a bill that will bring relief and opportunity to my constituents and the middle class.”