Hatch touts tax overhaul as big benefit to the middle class. Others say it will raise taxes for 14 million Americans.

ST. GEORGE – Sen. Orrin Hatch continued to tout the benefits of Senate Republicans’ proposed tax reform legislation during a congressional panel Monday.

The proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is heralded by the senator from Utah as a boon to middle class families that will relieve their tax burden and boost the nation’s economy.

“Under our bill, a family of four making the U.S. median family income of around $73,000 a year will see their federal income taxes reduced by more than 40 percent,” Hatch said. “In specific dollar terms, that’s a reduction of nearly $1,500 for a single year. That’s about $125 more take-home pay for every month.”

Copies of the Finance Committee Markup are placed for each member of the Senate Finance Committee before the start of the hearing as the tax-writing panel begins work on overhauling the nation’s tax code, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, 2017 | AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, St. George News

A single parent making $41,000 annually would get a cut of over $1,000, Hatch said, adding it is real money that will help improve the quality of life for tens of millions of American families as they are better able to make ends meet and save for the future.

Read more: Hatch rolls out Senate GOP tax system overhaul plan

Hatch also reiterated that the ultimate goal of his tax plan is the financial advancement of middle-class Americans.

“There are many in the middle class who have felt left behind in the sluggish economy under the previous administration, and they feel that they are not being heard,” he said. “We have an opportunity this week to show that we are listening, that we will act to get the economy moving again to provide better wages, more jobs and new opportunities for individuals and families in America.”

According to a report from the independent tax policy nonprofit group Tax Foundation released Friday, the Senate GOP’s tax reform bill would grow the economy by 3.7 percent, increase wages by 2.9 percent and create nearly 1 million new jobs.

The analysis also predicted the tax overhaul would provide more than $1.2 billion in new revenue for the federal government from “positive economic effect.”

In Utah specifically, the Tax Foundation’s study states Utah would gain over 9,100 new full-time jobs and lead to a $3,000 estimated gain in after-tax income for middle-income families.

Overall, the legislation would deeply cut corporate taxes, double the standard deduction used by most Americans and limit or repeal completely the federal deduction for state and local property, income and sales taxes. It carries high political stakes for President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress, who view passage of tax cuts as critical to the GOP preserving its majorities at the polls next year.

With few votes to spare, Republican leaders hope to finalize a tax overhaul by Christmas and send the legislation to Trump for his signature.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, left, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, criticizes the Republican tax reform plan while Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, listens to his opening statement as the panel begins work overhauling the nation’s tax code, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The legislation in the House and Senate carries high political stakes for President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress, who view passage of tax cuts as critical to the GOP’s success at the polls next year, Washington D.C., Nov. 13, 2017 | AP Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, St. George News

However, according to a nonpartisan analysis of the Senate GOP’s tax reform bill conducted by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, the proposed overhaul would raise taxes for 13.8 million Americans.

Hatch downplayed the analysis by congressional tax experts, saying “a relatively small minority of taxpayers could see a slight increase in their taxes.”

The committee’s senior Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, said the legislation has become “a massive handout to multinational corporations and a bonanza for tax cheats and powerful political donors.”

The analysis found that the Senate measure would increase taxes in 2019 for 13.8 million households earning less than $200,000 a year. That group, about 10 percent of all U.S. taxpayers, would face tax increases of $100 to $500 in 2019.

There also would be increases greater than $500 for a number of taxpayers, especially those with incomes between $75,000 and $200,000. By 2025, 21.4 million households would have steeper tax bills.

Hatch responded Tuesday to concerns raised by those in opposition to the tax overhaul. He disputed the claim that the tax bill was a “massive tax cut for the rich.”

“That particular claim was repeated, I believe, by almost every minority member of this committee,” Hatch said in his opening remarks for the second day of consideration of the bill. “The problem with that claim is that it’s just not true.”

“The Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper, has concluded that, not only does the bill maintain the current level of progressivity in the tax code, but that the largest tax cuts – in terms of percentage of income – will go to middle-income earners.”

Hatch also repeated the assertion that 13.8 million Americans represented a small portion of taxpayers.

“Members cited a JCT table concluding that some in the middle class may see a tax increase under the bill,” he said, “while those same members completely ignored the fact that the very same data showed that the vast majority of middle class taxpayers – about 90 percent – were either going to get a tax cut or, at the very least, be held harmless under the bill.”

Some in the Senate are also leery of the proposed tax overall due to it possibly adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

Associated Press writers MARCY GORDON, BRUCE SCHREINER and KEVIN FREKING contributed to this report.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press as to contributory portions of this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor November 14, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Distill down the takeaways from this:
    1. At least $1.5 Trillion will be added to the deficit over the next ten years…..
    2. Corporations have done very well since the meltdown of last decade, thanks to almost zero interest rates for their borrowing, thanks to Obama’s Monetary Policy. They have stashed hundreds of billions of dollars overseas in tax-advantaged countries, that even an effective corporate tax rate of 20% will not change. Very few corporations pay an effective 35% tax rate thanks to special interest lobbying that delivered exemptions galore. What incremental investments would they make, in the absence of product demand ????
    3. The few “bones” tossed out to middle income taxpayers are insignificant, and will evaporate within the ten year period.

    We have to recognize that the Joint Committee on Taxation is a more credible source of analysis. Orrin Hatch is merely a shill for the special interest groups that will enjoy huge benefits from this legislation. The typical Utah voter lacks that basic critical thinking skills to make an objective assessment…..
    We could simplify our tax codes, and eliminate a variety of special interest exemptions for both corporations and individual taxpayers, without adding $1.5 Trillion to our national debt over 10 years. Whatever happened to fiscal conservatism????

    • comments November 14, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Well, what’s good for the billionaire class must be good for average Joe, right? Republican policy screwing over average citizens is pretty typical.

  • mmsandie November 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    The middle class always get S——-..IF Trump would pay his fair share of taxes,, when he makes 120-150 million a year and hasn,t paid in 20 yrs keeps saying he is still being audited.. how much is he paying them…. just b6 lower8ng the corporate tax is dangerous ..it favors the wealthy, they won,t put their money in the economy to make new Jobs, it will go over seas to hide it and not pay taxes..even Mitt Romney has figured that one out which we learned when he wa# runn8ng fir president

  • dodgers November 14, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Hatch is pushing a bad deal for the middle class. It would increase taxes for many millions of Americans. We need a reduction for ALL taxpayers. Not the load of BS he is selling.

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