BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
In the wake of House Republicans releasing a bill that would make major changes to the nation’s tax code, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley held a phone conference on Monday with reporters to discuss how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would affect the middle-class constituents in his Queens and Bronx district.
“This is a bill that will hurt the middle class,” said Crowley. “It will hurt an overwhelming number of constituents back home in the 14th District, both the Bronx and Queens. It does nothing to promote the production of jobs here in the United States. It does nothing for infrastructure and it really hurts and impedes home ownership and wealth development within my district.”
According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the bill will deliver tax relief to low- and middle-income Americans who have been struggling to earn a raise. A typical middle-income family earning a median household income of $59,000 will receive a $1,182 tax cut.
However, Crowley pointed out that his district—which, according to the 2015 Census, has an average income of at least $57,700—would ultimately be hurt by this bill.
Republicans have argued that the bill would lower individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans anywhere from 0 to 35 percent; eliminate special interest deductions that increase rates and complicate Americans’ taxes; establish a new Family Credit, which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600 to help parents with the cost of raising children; reduce the tax rate on the income of job creators by more than 25 percent; increase the standard deduction to protect roughly double the amount of what a person earns each year from taxes; take action to support American families by expanding and enhancing family-focused tax benefits; preserve the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit; and lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent.
“The Republican tax plan is little more than a political scam,” said Crowley. “It would levy considerable debt onto our children in order to provide lavish benefits to the wealthy, well-connected and special interests. It is not tax reform, but instead a corporate giveaway that would decimate the middle-class and working families. The decision by House Republicans to remove critical provisions—like the state and local tax deduction—and levy new taxes on homeowners punishes my constituents in Queens and the Bronx and stops everyday Americans from finding and maintaining financial security. This plan strips away the ability for Americans to deduct medical costs, imposes new taxes on seniors and disabled veterans, and rewards the offshoring of jobs.”
According to Crowley, the bill would likely hurt homeowners and renters in his district as well as veterans and college students.
Crowley said that he strongly encourages the Senate to vote down the bill, adding that Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on a tax reform plan that helps families, boosts the economy and creates jobs.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.