Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Senate GOP Unveils Tax Bill With More Pain for Blue States

Senate GOP Unveils Tax Bill With More Pain for Blue States

Republicans in the Senate released their version of tax reform legislation Thursday, a week after House Republicans unveiled a bill that would overhaul the US tax code. Kentucky Republican senator McConnell had previously stated that "nobody in the middle class is going to a tax increase" under the new tax plan, but dialed back his assertion in a new interview.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol, the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines Thursday to move ahead with a newer version of their plan.

House Republicans are not even close to complying with the Byrd rule.

Compared to the House version, the Senate bill keeps the deduction for mortgage interest as well as the estate tax - a tax on inheritances valued over $5.49 million.

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The Senate would boost the child tax credit to $1,650 and raise the income threshold for the measure. It creates a new 38.5 percent tax bracket for couples earning more than $1 million and individuals making more than $500,000 per year.

Corporations have appreciated that approach.

The Senate bill differs from the House bill in several significant ways, including the elimination of all deductions for state and local taxes, a move that would disproportionately affect 44 million Americans living in states with high taxes, including California, Connecticut, Illinois and NY.

The result was that the total tax owed under the Senate plan was $13,969, while the total under the House plan was $17,550. As for the hard-fought compromise, he said, "I think it'd be hard not to have it in the final bill". That is likely driven by political differences between the two chambers. But the Senate already seems unlikely to meet that deadline because of complex rules governing how it must consider the tax bill. Delaying that reduction would lower the cost of the bill to the Treasury, but the delay is opposed by the White House and some Senate Republicans.

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"This is not unpopular", he said Thursday.

But a day earlier, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House bill would add $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. The remaining 70% would be taxed at personal rates, which could be as high as 39.6% under the current tax code.

The House and Senate bills are broadly similar in their outlines. Under the House bill, the pass-through tax rate could be as low as 9% for some income for an individual owner earning less than $75,000.

The House version would collapse the current seven tax brackets into four, while the Senate would retain seven.

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