Source: Senator Pat Robets’ news release
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, today voted in favor of final Senate passage of historic tax reform legislation, released by the House and Senate conference committee, saying the bill will provide much-needed tax relief to middle-income Americans and will create economic growth and new jobs. The legislation will now go back to the House before heading to the president’s desk for signature.
“This historic legislation impacts every single American,” said Roberts. “We have worked together to provide meaningful relief for taxpayers, taking money out of Washington and allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. This bill will give our economy the boost it needs to create more jobs at higher wages, make American companies more competitive, and keep jobs here at home.”
“There is widespread, bipartisan agreement on the need for a fairer, simpler tax code, and this bill does just that. I am so proud to have served on the tax-writing committee and played a role in ensuring this bill lowers taxes for Kansans, creates more fairness in our tax code, and unwinds the burdensome regulatory overkill.”
The Senate passed its own version of the bill in November. Prior to passage of that legislation, Roberts spoke on the Senate floor saying, “We have proven that we can act decisively to grow our economy, help those living paycheck to paycheck, create better opportunities with job creation and bring jobs back from overseas.”
Roberts also praised the provision that repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate tax penalty saying, “There is no denying that Obamacare continues to collapse. This provision provides additional relief to low- and middle-income families and allows Americans more flexibility in choosing the health care that best suits them without a penalty from the federal government.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch in June tapped Senator Roberts to be the leading voice on agriculture issues when writing the tax reform bill. Roberts praised the final legislation’s provisions that will provide certainty to farmers and ranchers. He said, “I am very pleased this bill will help our farmers and ranchers by creating a much more pro-growth tax system, lowering their tax burden and simplifying the tax provisions relating to the agricultural sector.”
Key Provisions Related to Agriculture:
• Improves ability of the agricultural community to use the cash method of accounting, which provides flexibility in managing cash flow.
• Creates a new system for small business passthroughs. The majority of farms and ranches are set up as passthroughs and the unique features of agricultural taxation are accommodated including attention to how the new rules will treat farmer cooperatives.
• Doubles the exemptions from the estate and gift tax, up to $22 million per couple.
• Protects the current ability for agricultural organizations and other charities to raise funds for operations.
Roberts continued, “For too long government has been an adversary, not a partner. With this bill, we are one step, closer toward restoring this balance, and removing the regulatory burden that has acted as a brake on our economy. We have before us now a comprehensive plan to address these issues, clean up and modernize the tax code. This will help generate more growth in our economy and provide meaningful tax relief for families, small businesses, and farmers and ranchers.”
Other Key Provisions:
• Reduces individual tax rates for middle-income Americans from the current rate of 22.5 percent to 22 percent; 25 percent to 24 percent; and the 32.5 rate dropping to 32 percent, which will help taxpayers keep even more of their hard-earned money
• Nearly doubles the standard deduction
• Doubles to child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 – allowing more parents to claim the credit
• Preserves the $250 deduction for unreimbursed school-related expenses for teachers
• Eliminates costly special interest tax breaks
• Modernizes the international tax system
• Repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate
• Continues and expands the deduction for charitable contributions
• Blocks the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from requiring charitable organizations to gather and keep personal and financial information from donors including social security numbers
• Preserves the mortgage interest deduction
• Expands the medical expense deduction to help Americans with expensive medical bills
• Updates the measure’s pass-through provisions to better assist Main Street businesses by including a simple and easy-to-administer tax deduction for small business of all sizes
• Makes permanent a 21 percent corporate tax rate and shifts the structure of the international tax system
• These savings result in a typical American family of four, earning the median family income of $73,000, seeing their taxes drop by more than $2,000.