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Chris Collins: This is real tax reform

By Chris Collins
Special to the News

Before House Republicans introduced tax reform legislation, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo complained our bill would be nothing but a tax cut for the wealthy. Now that our comprehensive tax reform has been introduced, he is worried that multimillionaires are not getting enough relief.

This is the same governor who, throughout his entire time in office, has relied on a temporary millionaires tax year after year. He recently extended that same tax for another two years, subjecting New Yorkers to this job-killing tax for the entirety of his administration.

Cuomo’s hypocrisy is astounding.

The sad fact is that Andrew Cuomo is now catering to New York City multimillionaires, not looking out for hard-working Western New Yorkers. While Cuomo now claims to be fighting to protect the wealthy, I am looking out for my constituents.

Our Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will bring real relief to middle-income citizens compared to the current outdated, complicated system. Our bill focuses on middle America by lowering rates, collapsing tax brackets and doubling the standard deduction. Tax returns will be so simple they will fit on a postcard.

While our plan still gives those that choose to itemize a deduction for property taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions, most families won’t be itemizing with such a large standard deduction. Each adult will automatically receive a $300 credit. And, families will receive an additional $600 per child in tax credits and $300 for each adult dependent they care for.

The proof is in the numbers. Currently, a family of four living in Lancaster making $80,000 and taking the current standard deduction pays $4,733 in federal income taxes. Under our plan that family will now pay $2,920, a savings of $1,813.

For that same size Lancaster family with $14,827 in itemized deductions (a mortgage of $175,000 at 3.5 percent, a property tax rate of 2.72 percent including STAR exemption on a $250,000 home and state taxes of $3,644), they pay $4,413 in federal income taxes under current law. Under our plan, that family will now pay $2,920, a savings of $1,493, and wouldn’t have to itemize.

For those that do itemize, left-wing mouthpieces like Cuomo have been spreading misinformation about the mortgage interest deduction cap. This applies only to 2 percent of the homes in my district that are valued greater than $500,000. Few of my constituents will be impacted because the average home is valued at $152,900.

Our legislation also permanently repeals the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which penalizes those with large deductions, common in high-tax states like New York.

Even more importantly, our tax reform will unleash America’s competitiveness by leveling the global playing field for American companies. Currently, jobs are created and profits are stuck overseas because it costs too much to do business in America. Our reforms will bring jobs and profits back home, where they belong.

The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and this plan will lower it to 20 percent. This change will give American businesses more money to invest in research and development, hire more workers, pay higher wages and make them more competitive overseas.

Our legislation will allow more entrepreneurs to achieve the American Dream. Currently, individuals who start businesses are saddled with such high taxes they face near impossible odds. Instead, we create policies that will encourage these businesses to grow and flourish, and hire more workers in our communities.

Despite Andrew Cuomo’s scare tactics, Western New Yorkers know the last person we should ever trust is this governor, who has never met a tax he didn’t like or want to hike. The fact is this plan will jumpstart our economy, create jobs and give Western New Yorkers more money in their pockets.

Republicans in Congress want to give every middle-income household a bonus – enjoy it.

Rep. Chris Collins represents the 27th District in Congress.

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