Pittenger: House tax plan will benefit North Carolinians

By: Scott Witten - switten@laurinburgexchange.com

WASHINGTON — A $1.5 trillion package overhauling corporate and personal taxes that passed the U.S. House on Thursday will be good for North Carolina taxpayers, according to U.S. Rep, Robert Pittenger.

The near party-line 227-205 vote came as Democrats on the other side of the Capitol pointed to new estimates showing the Senate version of the plan would boost future taxes on lower and middle-income Americans. Those projections, coupled with complaints by some GOP senators about their chamber’s proposal, suggest party leaders still face a challenge in crafting a measure that can make it through Congress with little if any Democratic support.

But Pittenger, whose 9th District includes Scotland County called the legislation “a good deal for North Carolina,” in a tweet before Thursday’s House vote

The Charlotte Republican said the plan would create more than 29,000 new jobs and provide a$2,366 boost in after-tax income for middle class families.

“Hardworking Americans desperately need relief, Pittenger said in a statement. “Our legislation, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” lets families and individuals keep more of their paychecks by doubling the standard deduction and lowering the individual tax rates. By allowing businesses to keep and reinvest more of their profits, our legislation will create jobs and grow paychecks.”

According to Pittenger, the plan:

— Lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans.

— Nearly doubles the standard deduction.

— Expands the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600.

— Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages. Keeps the deduction for newly purchased homes up to $500,00.

— Eliminates the Death Tax after six years.

Both the House and Senate versions of the legislation would cut the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 20 percent, while reducing some personal taxpayers’ rates and erasing and shrinking deductions for individuals. Projected federal deficits would grow by $1.5 trillion over the coming decade.

The Senate bill would end tax cuts for individuals in 2026, a provision designed to pare the bill’s long-term costs to the Treasury — derided by Democrats as a gimmick, Legislation cannot boost budget deficits after 10 years if it is to qualify for Senate procedures barring bill-killing filibusters.

The Senate version would also abolish the ‘‘Obamacare’’ requirement that people buy health coverage or pay tax penalties.

Both bills would nearly double the standard deduction to around $12,000 for individuals and about $24,000 for married couples and dramatically boost the current $1,000 per-child tax credit.

But each plan also would erase the current $4,050 personal exemption and annul or reduce other tax breaks. The House would limit interest deductions to $500,000 in the value of future home mortgages, down from today’s $1 million, while the Senate would end deductions for moving expenses and tax preparation.

Each measure would repeal the alternative minimum tax paid by higher-earning people. The House measure would reduce and ultimately repeal the tax paid on the largest inheritances, while the Senate would limit that levy to fewer estates.

Shortly before the vote, Trump traveled to the Capitol and urged House Republicans to approve the bill, though it was clear beforehand that they had the votes.

Bad plan

Democrats have derided the measure as a scheme that would help the rich but do little for anyone else. They say millionaires would get large cuts while taxes would rise for American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to the analysis.

Officials with the North Carolina Democratic Party said the House Republican tax bill would force $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare next year, threatening nearly 2 million North Carolinians.

At the same time, the richest 1 percent of North Carolina taxpayers will receive 43 percent of the tax cuts under the House Republican tax bill, Democrats said.

The plan would also cause distressed and rural communities to lose the New Market Tax Credits program that funds hundreds of hospitals, daycare facilities, alternative energy projects, and small businesses, Tar heel Democrats said. The program has spurred nearly $2 million in community investments in North Carolina and created nearly 7,000 full-time jobs since 2003.

“This is a tax plan created by and for Wall Street, and we’re the ones paying for it,” said North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds. “The GOP tax scam is nothing more than a gift to corporations, millionaires, and billionaires, while middle class North Carolina families will literally pay the price in higher student loan debt, medical bills, healthcare premiums, and taxes.”

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin became the first Republican senator to say he opposed the GOP bill, complaining that it left taxes too high on some corporations and partnerships.

Besides Johnson, Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski have yet to commit to backing the tax measure.

Republicans controlling the Senate 52-48 can approve the legislation with just 50 votes, plus tie-breaking support from Vice President Mike Pence. With solid Democratic opposition likely, that means they can lose just two GOP votes — a precarious figure.


Scott Witten


The Associated Press contributed to this article

The Associated Press contributed to this article