Davis, Shimkus laud their colleagues' tax-reform bill

Davis, Shimkus laud their colleagues' tax-reform bill

WASHINGTON — Local Republican congressmen said the GOP tax package passed Thursday would aid the middle class and business development, while Democrats called it a partisan bill that will hurt the middle class and universities, and benefit the wealthy.

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, whose congressional district includes Champaign-Urbana, called the bill "a pro-middle class, pro-small business, and pro-America bill that is necessary to ensure the kind of economic growth our country has not seen in years.

"However, this is just the first step," he said. "It's imperative that our Senate colleagues pass a bill, get to conference to iron out the differences, and send a bill to the president's desk so when people get their paychecks next year, they will see more of their hard-earned money going into the bank and less of it going to Washington. The stakes are high because this is our chance to change the lives of working Americans for the better."

Davis said that in his congressional district, a family of four making the median income of $78,509 would see a tax cut of $1,691, and a median-income household making $49,758 for a single filer would see a tax cut of $1,224.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville — whose district includes Danville, Rantoul, Tuscola and much of downstate Illinois south of Champaign-Urbana — said the legislation "delivers on President Trump's promise of meaningful relief for low- and middle-income taxpayers, and reduces business taxes so American employers can grow, create jobs and raise wages."

Shimkus said that more than 80 percent of the residents of his district take the standard deduction instead of itemizing their taxes and noted that the standard deduction would almost double, "which means the first $12,000 earned by individuals, and the first $24,000 earned by married couples, would be protected from federal income taxes under this bill."

"Contrary to misleading media reports," he said, citing a report by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, "the reality is that low- and middle-income Americans will see the biggest percentage reductions in taxes paid under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."

But U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, citing the same Joint Committee on Taxation, said that the bill would on average increase taxes on every individual making less than $75,000.

"This House bill gives guaranteed tax giveaways to the wealthy and temporary tax relief to some middle-income families," Durbin said. "One-third of Illinois families will face double taxation for their property, income and sales taxes for the first time."

Jon Ebel of Urbana, a Democrat who hopes to challenge Davis in next year's congressional election in the 13th District, said the House bill "will do enormous damage to scientific research in the United States, and will hurt communities and institutions in our district" because it makes graduate students pay federal tax on the tuition waivers they receive from their universities.

"Taxing tuition waivers will be an enormous disincentive for the pursuit of research careers. For all but the most wealthy, this tax will be an insurmountable barrier. And the big loser will be American science and technology, on which our prosperity and well-being depend," Ebel said, "Many foolish ideas are created in Washington, and some even become law. In terms of damage to our nation, this single component of the tax bill may be the worst idea ever."

Davis said Wednesday that the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee had assured him that once the House and Senate tax packages go to a conference committee, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady "will work toward a positive solution for qualified tuition waivers as tax reform moves forward."

The Senate's tax-reform bill, which hasn't been approved, maintains the qualified tuition waiver.

Ebel said of Davis' efforts, "Representative Davis wants to have it both ways. He says that he is opposed to taxing graduate student tuition waivers but voted for this bill anyway. Talk is cheap."

Betsy Londrigan of Springfield, who also hopes to become the 13th District Democratic nominee against Davis, claimed the Republican bill rewards "the wealthy and corporations at the expense of working families. In central Illinois, we know all too well that trickle-down economics doesn't work, nor does balancing the budget on the backs of the shrinking middle class, which is exactly what this bill sets out to do. Congressman Davis and House Republicans are shilling a bill that is a tax scam."

Sections (2):News, Local

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
cbrads334 wrote on November 17, 2017 at 9:11 am
Profile Picture

Funny how the Republicans spin it when they want to give the wealthy and corporations a HUGE tax break.  They'll throw a few peanuts to the beleaguered masses, while enjoying MASSIVE tax breaks for themselves. 

Don't forget that their tax plan is projected to ADD $1.7 TRILLION to the deficit.  (According to multiple sources, Google it!)  How nice of the party of "personal responsibility" to ADD more debt!  What will happen?  Essential services will once again be cut drastically.  Roads?  Bridges?  Services to disabled/elderly/children?  I could go on and on, but you get the drift.

 

This is NOT good for the middle class, or the poor, or the vulnerable.  It's ONLY good for the filthy rich!

cbrads334 wrote on November 17, 2017 at 9:11 am
Profile Picture

Funny how the Republicans spin it when they want to give the wealthy and corporations a HUGE tax break.  They'll throw a few peanuts to the beleaguered masses, while enjoying MASSIVE tax breaks for themselves. 

Don't forget that their tax plan is projected to ADD $1.7 TRILLION to the deficit.  (According to multiple sources, Google it!)  How nice of the party of "personal responsibility" to ADD more debt!  What will happen?  Essential services will once again be cut drastically.  Roads?  Bridges?  Services to disabled/elderly/children?  I could go on and on, but you get the drift.

 

This is NOT good for the middle class, or the poor, or the vulnerable.  It's ONLY good for the filthy rich!

APC wrote on November 17, 2017 at 10:11 am

Among the many gems in this piece of legislation is the sunsetting of tax cuts for families but not for corporations (as well as getting rid of many deductions).  Effect: a short reduction followed by increasing taxes so that by 2023 everyone except the very wealthy will be paying more taxes.

Also, let's devastate the UofI more - students will be taxed on tuition wavers, meaning that they will have to pay tax on $30K they don't have and/or the endowment will be raided. 

Good work for your constituants Rod.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/16/the-house-is-voti...

-