HUNTER SUPPORTS TAX REFORM BILL

Dec 19, 2017 Issues: Tax Reform

Washington, DC -- Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-50) today voted in favor of the conference report for H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed the House by a margin of 227-203.  The measure marks the first major reform of the tax code in over 30 years.

“This is a historic day,” said Congressman Hunter.  “This vote keeps an important promise to the American people that its elected representatives believe they deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money, that they deserve a tax code that more simple and fair, that they deserve an economy with the opportunity to grow and thrive without the burden and interference coming from Washington.

“I am very pleased that those working on the final product of this tax reform took into account and addressed many of the initial concerns that were raised as this debate took place, including ensuring provisions for wildfire disaster relief, maintaining the adoption tax credit, and protecting deductions for charitable giving, mortgage interest, state and local taxes and medical expenses.  This tax bill is an investment in America’s future by bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs and investment dollars back to the U.S. from Mexico and overseas.  This tax bill is an investment in the American people who know best how to care for their families and their future.  This tax bill is an investment in which I am confident we are going to see immediate returns.”

The House passed an earlier version of the tax reform measure in November, with the Senate passing its version on December 2.  The conference report represents the final product after the House and Senate members compromised between different versions of the bill.  

Congressman Hunter worked directly with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of the California congressional delegation to ensure that the final version of the bill maintained deductions for personal casualty losses resulting from natural disasters, as well as the incorporation of provisions that provided for early withdraw from qualified retirement plans for disaster response.  Earlier versions of the tax reform bill did not contain these provisions and would have adversely affected thousands of California victims of the recent wildfires.

Highlights of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act include:

Individuals:

  • Lowering individual tax rates to 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%;
  • Roughly doubling the Standard Deduction – from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples;
  • Establishing a new Family Credit – which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 for each child and providing new credits of $500 each for other dependents. The credit is refundable up to $1400 provided a social security number is provided for each qualifying child;
  • Preserving the Adoption Tax Credit;
  • Preserving the deduction for charitable contributions;
  • Preserving the deduction for medical expenses and temporarily lowers threshold to 7.5% of AGI from 10% of AGI;
  • Preserving the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and maintaining the home mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes for interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage principal;
  • Allowing taxpayers to write off the cost of state and local taxes up to $10,000 for both property and income (or sales) taxes;
  • Increasing AMT thresholds to $1 million for married couples and $500,000 for individuals;
  • Eliminating the Obamacare individual mandate penalty beginning January 1, 2019;
  • Providing immediate relief from the Death Tax by doubling the exemption amount;
  • Providing support for Graduate students by continuing to reduce the value of reduced tuition from taxes.

Business:

  • Lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective January 1, 2018;
  • Providing a deduction of 20 percent of qualified pass-through income;
  • Including both a capital test and/or a wage test to broaden the scope of businesses eligible for pass-through deduction;
  • Establishing safeguards to distinguish between individual wage income and “pass through” business income;
  • Allowing businesses to immediately write off the full cost of purchases of new or used equipment;
  • Protecting the ability of small businesses and any businesses with “floor plan” inventory financing to write off the interest on loans.

The Senate is scheduled to consider the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as soon as tomorrow.  When passed, the bill will be referred to President Trump who has indicated that he will sign the measure into public law.  For additional information regarding the tax reform package, please visit Congressman Hunter’s website at www.hunter.house.gov.