By U.S. Rep. Martha Roby
This time around, the new year offers something extra exciting for the American people. I’m pleased to report that Congress has finally passed our historic, pro-growth tax reform and Americans will soon begin experiencing the benefits.
After months of work, we have delivered on our promise to cut taxes, bring balance to the tax code, and jump start job growth. While the House passed its version of tax reform months ago, differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill had to be worked out in a conference committee. I was proud to support the final product and vote alongside my colleagues to send the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the President’s desk.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowers individual tax rates and roughly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and married couples. That means less of your paycheck is subject to taxes beginning this year. The average, median-income American family will see about $2,100 in tax relief – not just one year, but annually. For moms and dads working to make ends meet, having a few thousand extra dollars in the budget can make a big difference. It’s your money to begin with, and I believe you know how to spend it better than the federal government does.
Another important aspect of our tax reform plan is lowering business taxes. A lot of people don’t realize that our effective tax rate for businesses is among the highest in the world. All that does is send jobs overseas and make it harder for small businesses to be successful. By lowering business taxes to a globally-competitive 21 percent, we can boost our economy and spur job growth here in the United States.
While our bill eliminates many unnecessary and burdensome special-interest deductions, it also preserves a lot of the popular tax deductions people count on, including the student loan interest deduction, the deduction for teachers’ expenses, the medical expense deduction, the charitable giving deduction, the adoption tax credit, and the mortgage interest deduction. It doubles the Child Tax Credit to help working families, and it eliminates the Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty.
After the bill passed, I joined my colleagues and the President at the White House to celebrate this monumental accomplishment. My children, Margaret and George were on break from school for the holidays, so they were able to be in Washington and attend the event with me. I am so thankful they were able to witness this historic moment. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reduce the tax burden on American families and grow our economy – and I’m glad we could deliver on this promise we’ve been making for so many years.
A lot of misinformation has been spread by those who oppose this plan, and it’s generated some confusion about what our bill does and does not do. Regardless, I am confident the results will speak for themselves. The American people will know who was telling the truth when they see more money in their pockets and experience a growing economy thanks to our historic tax reform plan. I am proud that we were able to come together and deliver this relief to families and businesses just in time for 2018.
Happy New Year!
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband Riley and their two children.