Tipon: Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a victory for all Americans (column)
Editor’s note: Find a link to the landing page that tracks the progress of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act through Congress, as well as the full text of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Report, with this column at http://www.vaildaily.com.
The road to tax reform has been a long and winding one, but this week, a piece of legislation that will provide major tax relief to hardworking Americans passed through the House and the Senate. Soon the President will sign it into law. The successful passage of this legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is a real victory for the American people.
Since being elected to the House of Representatives, I have traveled to communities across the 3rd Congressional District and heard from folks who have struggled under our nation’s broken and burdensome tax code. That is why I have supported comprehensive tax reform since taking office and have been proud to take part in the legislative process over the past two years.
This week, we agreed to a conference report that includes important reforms that will benefit individuals and families at every income level, as well as our nation’s job creators.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will assist millions of Americans by nearly doubling the standard deduction, meaning that the first $12,000 an individual brings home and the first $24,000 two married individuals filing a joint return bring home is free from federal income tax (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Report, p. 14). This is incredibly useful because, according to the Internal Revenue Service, 73 percent of folks living in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District claim the standard deduction on their taxes. Additionally, it will preserve the ability to write off up to $10,000 in state and local property and income taxes (Conference Report, p. 78).
On top of that, this legislation will give Americans the right to choose the health care plan that works best for them by eliminating Obamacare’s faulty individual insurance mandate beginning in 2019 (Conference Report, p. 153). It will also provide relief for Americans with costly medical bills by expanding the medical expense deduction temporarily for the 2017 and 2018 tax years (Conference Report, p. 99).
Parents will receive greater support as they raise the generation of tomorrow, as this legislation temporarily doubles the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 (Conference Report, p. 41) and preserves the current Child and Dependent Care (Conference Report, p. 109) and Adoption Tax Credits (Conference Report, p. 111).
Students pursuing higher education will continue to benefit from the tax exemption on the value of their tuition waivers (Conference Report, p. 46). This was something that I heard a lot about from Coloradans calling into my office, and I agree that every American who wishes to pursue higher education should be able to do so.
The bill also preserves the mortgage interest deduction for current and future homeowners (Conference Report, p. 76). Homeowners who have existing mortgages will see absolutely no change to the current mortgage interest deduction. Future homeowners will have the ability to deduct interest on mortgages up to $750,000.
Small businesses on Main Street will also be set up to succeed under a new, low tax rate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act establishes a 20 percent deduction for the first $315,000 of joint income earned by businesses that are classified as S corporations, partnerships, LLCs and sole proprietorships (Conference Report, pp. 20-40).
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, especially in Colorado, where small businesses create jobs for 49 percent of our workforce. With this deduction, Colorado’s small businesses will have more opportunity to put the money they make back into their business, pay their employees higher salaries, invest in infrastructure, create more jobs and expand the tax base.
This is already happening. Within hours of the bill’s passage, major employers across the nation began announcing higher wages and/or bonuses for employees because of tax reform.
For the first time in more than 30 years, we have achieved comprehensive tax reform. This historic moment is made greater knowing that we are starting off the New Year with a new and improved tax code, and the majority of Coloradans will experience the benefits immediately. If you have any questions about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and how it will benefit you and your family, then please do not hesitate to reach out to my office for more information.
U.S. Rep Scott R. Tipton represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.