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Free Lance-Star: Tax reform is good news for a pro-growth economy

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FREDERICKSBURG, December 27, 2017 | comments

The following op-ed appeared in the December 27, 2017 edition of the Free Lance-Star.

THIS YEAR has seen record-breaking good news for the United States economy.

GDP growth has roughly doubled from a year ago, and experts are estimating we will close out the fourth quarter at over 4 percent. Consumer confidence has reached a 17-year high.

Household wealth jumped by $1.7 trillion this year, and 1.4 million Americans are no longer relying on food stamps. Unemployment is the lowest it has been in 17 years.

The stock market is up 32 percent from a year ago, and has smashed 70 records since Election Day 2016.

This is good news for America. Regardless of political affiliation, when our economy grows, everyone wins.

Thanks to tax reform, Virginia families can look forward to a growing economy. That means pay raises, multiple job offers for college graduates, more savings for the future and greater economic security for countless families and individuals.

Dec. 20 was a historic day for our country. Together, the House and Senate brought comprehensive tax reform over the finish line. It was no easy task, but by working cooperatively with my colleagues, the final bill will benefit countless Virginians.

If you read the headlines, you would think that Virginia families are set to see their taxes increase. That is false. Our tax bill will allow 8 in 10 Americans to see more money in their paychecks come February.

In Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, the median household income is around $73,000. Under the Republican tax bill, a family of four making $73,000 will see an additional $2,059 in their paychecks. Those are real results.

Our bill doubles the standard deduction for individuals and married couples. It expands the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, with $1,400 of that credit being refundable. We preserve the adoption tax credit. The home mortgage interest deduction remains intact. Our legislation expands the medical expense deduction.

And finally, we successfully eliminated Obamacare’s individual mandate tax penalty that overwhelmingly hurts middle-class families. Letting Virginians keep more of their money is a no-brainer.

Job creators and local businesses of all sizes across Virginia will also receive historic tax relief.

According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, five of the top 10 problems that small businesses face are tax-related. Our legislation will turn that around by reducing complexity and lowering rates to create a fairer tax code.

Our Main Street businesses will see their tax rates reduced significantly. Over 90 percent of small businesses are structured as pass-through entities, which means they are taxed at the higher individual tax rate. If you combine that tax rate with state and local taxes, many of these businesses are paying over 50 percent in taxes. This will change under the Republican bill.

Our plan will allow businesses to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income, which will reduce their effective tax rate to no more than 29.6 percent.

Too many companies are leaving our shores and taking their business overseas. The Republican tax plan incentivizes moving businesses, their capital, jobs and earnings back to U.S. shores.

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