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Promise kept on tax cuts for middle-class families and job creators

• Dec 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Last week, Congress delivered on an important promise with a once-in-a-generation vote to enact tax reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act overhauls our tax code for the first time in three decades by cutting taxes for hard-working taxpayers, small businesses and West Michigan companies.

This legislation delivers tax relief for West Michigan by lowering rates, nearly doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families, and doubling the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000. Additionally, the Child Tax Credit will also be refundable up to $1,400 for low-income families with little to no tax liability.

As a community, West Michigan is known for opening its doors to children in need of a forever home. If a loving family wants to welcome a child into their home, the federal government should encourage the removal of financial barriers to adoption. I am happy to report that my efforts to restore the Adoption Tax Credit were successful and it will be maintained.

As a former licensed Realtor, I know homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act supports this deeply held belief by maintaining mortgage interest deductibility on all current mortgages. Interest on new mortgages will be deductible up to $750,000, which encompasses approximately 98 percent of all homes in the United States. Additionally, taxpayers will be able to write off up to $10,000 in state and local income, property and sales taxes.

West Michigan wouldn’t be the community it is today if it were not for the generosity of individuals who donate their hard-earned dollars to local churches, charities and community organizations. Under this legislation, the ability to deduct charitable donations is preserved.

Another way the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will provide relief for middle-class taxpayers is by cutting taxes for job creators of all sizes in West Michigan. Over the last two decades, small businesses have been the engine of economic growth. That is why the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides small businesses a significant tax cut that will allow these local entrepreneurs, whether it is the pizza or small manufacturing shop, to invest, create new jobs and grow right here in West Michigan.

Remember when Perrigo left West Michigan and moved their headquarters to Ireland? That is a real-world example of an ineffective corporate tax code. By closing loopholes and eliminating special-interest carve-outs for the biggest companies in America, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Keep in mind, even President Obama proposed a 25 percent corporate tax rate for manufacturing. We need to have a tax rate that levels the playing field and allows job creators of all sizes to compete against foreign companies while investing in Michigan.

Unfortunately, when high-profile legislation such as tax reform is debated, the rhetoric surrounding the issue often diverges from reality. Recently, the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, who has been critical of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, found in their analysis that the share of federal taxes paid by the 1 percent will rise, while the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers will see greater tax relief. The argument that this tax cut is “for the rich” is false. This is a tax cut for hard-working, middle-class families and job creators across West Michigan.

When tax cuts were enacted under presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, our economy grew, new jobs were created and federal revenues increased. Those who claim that letting West Michigan residents keep more of their hard-earned money adds to the debt are misguided at best. Our debt isn’t caused by a lack of revenue, it’s Washington’s addiction to spending. This problem isn’t easy to tackle, but it is why I have supported legislation to reduce our spending by $6.5 trillion over the short, medium and long term. Big spenders in Washington don’t understand. This isn’t their money in the first place; it’s yours.

Tax reform is something I fought for since I was first elected to represent the Second District. I believe this pro-growth legislation will have a positive impact on West Michigan. For too long, hard-working taxpayers have been sending too much money to Washington. By working with President Trump, Republicans in Congress were able to enact historic tax reform that will increase paychecks, create jobs and grow our economy.

— By Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, who represents the Michigan 2nd Congressional District.

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