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Rep. Comstock Statement On The Tax Relief Package

Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) issued the following statement on her intention to vote in favor of the Conference Report to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“I will be voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because it cuts taxes for hardworking families and businesses and will help revitalize and create a healthy economy where American workers can compete and win.

“Over the past several weeks I have worked with my colleagues to improve this bill from the initial version the House voted on.  I’m pleased that this final bill included many of the provisions that we fought to have included in the bill to help hardworking families and businesses.”

Summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Doubles the Child Tax Credit from the current $1k to $2k (H.R. 3833 which Rep. Comstock introduced this year also doubled the Child Tax Credit to $2k) while also making more families eligible for the credit by raising the income threshold to cover the vast majority of families with children, while also making the credit refundable for low income families.

o   Grants a $500 nonrefundable credit for other qualifying dependents such as certain college students and older adult dependents.

  • Incentivizes businesses to provide Paid Parental Leave of up to 12 weeks.  This is a first of its kind tax credit that will help Moms and Dads after the birth of a child or with an emergency medical situation.
  • Preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as well as Childcare Flexible accounts to help hardworking two earner families care for children and older dependents such as disabled grandparents.
  • Bans businesses from deducting settlements and fees for sexual harassment and abuse cases.  This is identical to Rep. Comstock’s H.R. 4514, introduced earlier this year.
  • Includes incentives to create “Opportunity Zones” to encourage investment in distressed communities by deferring capital gains which will give these communities a lifeline for growth, similar to H.R. 828, which Rep. Comstock cosponsored.
  • Roughly doubles the Standard Deduction from $6,500 for individuals and $13,000 for couples to $12,000 and $24,000.
  • Retains the Adoption Tax Credit.
  • Preserves the Mortgage Deduction.

o   For all homeowners with existing mortgages that were taken out to buy a home, there will be no change to the current mortgage interest deduction.

o   For homeowners with new mortgages on a first or second home, the home mortgage interest deduction will be available up to $750,000.

  • Allows deductions for state, local income, sales, and property taxes up to $10,000. (This provision is improved from both the House and Senate versions of the bill by providing individuals and families the ability to choose among sales, income and property taxes to best fit their unique circumstances).
  • Preserves the 401(k) and the charitable deductions provisions in the tax code to protect and promote savings for retirement and to support charitable giving.
  • Reduces the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) provision for many constituents in the 10thDistrict.
  • Provides tax incentives for craft brewers, distillers, and wineries for two years which will further grow the Northern Virginia economy and promote tourism.  In Loudoun County alone a recent report stated that tourism had a $1.69 billion economic impact supporting 17,225 jobs.
  • Currently, under Obamacare, the medical expense deduction would rise to a threshold for expenses of 10% for 2018.  This legislation would restore the 7.5% threshold for two years, until 2020.
  • Maintains the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide vital tax relief for low-income working families to build better lives for themselves.
  • Helps families pay for education by allowing them to use 529 accounts to save for elementary, secondary and higher education.
  • Allows graduate students to continue to be exempt from taxes on the value of reduced tuition.You can see the letter of support Rep. Comstock signed here.
  • Maintains the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program that will preserve our historic sites while bringing economic renewal to communities across the 10thCongressional District.  You can the letter of support Rep. Comstock signed here.
  • Maintains the current Student Loan Deduction. You can see the letter of support Rep. Comstock signed here.
  • Maintains the Teacher Classroom Supply Deduction.
  • Maintains the preferential tax treatment for private activity bonds that helps finance transportation and infrastructure projects for localities, cities, and states. You can see the letter where Rep. Comstock signed here.
  • Maintains the personal pre-tax commuter benefit for transit, parking, and biking.
  • Reduces the impact of the Death Tax by doubling the amount of the current exemption to reduce uncertainty and costs for many of our family-owned farms and businesses when they pass down their life’s work to the next generation.
  • Lowers the tax rates to 0%, 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37% so taxpayers can keep more of their hard earned money.

“As can be seen in the items above — many of the provisions that have been the focus of much discussion over the past few weeks — medical expense deductions, school loan deductions, private activity bonds, teacher classroom supply deduction, Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives — have been included in the final bill.  We listened to many of those concerned about these provisions and worked hard to address those concerns and we will continue to work going forward to protect hardworking taxpayers.

“The critics who oppose tax relief are many of the same people who supported the Obama tax increases over the past eight years.  During this time, we’ve seen wages stagnate and innovation and opportunities diminish.  This legislation will start a turn around and provide a healthier economy for all.  I will always work to provide more support for creating an innovation economy that provides more prosperity for all.  The status quo is driving businesses and jobs away and we have to modernize our tax code to meet the challenges of our innovative 21st century economy.

“By cutting the business tax from 35% to 21% American companies will be able to better compete in the global economy.  The legislation will also help Main Street by providing a 20% deduction for job creators to grow their businesses, in addition to the reduction in individual tax rates; allows businesses to write off the cost of new equipment; allows small business to write off interest on loans; preserves the Research and Development Tax Credit which is important to the Northern Virginia Technology sector; and other important tax provisions that will help improve our innovation economy.”

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