WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statement on the bill’s passage:

“The tax cut and tax reform bill passed by the Senate today is legislation six years in the making. It’s the product of 70 committee hearings, five bipartisan working groups, a vigorous markup in the Senate Finance Committee, and an open amendment process on the Senate floor.

“Overall, this bill accomplishes three critical objectives: it delivers relief for middle-class families, promotes small business growth, and makes America’s corporations competitive globally. I’m pleased to see this comprehensive, pro-growth bill clear the Senate. I’m hopeful we will soon be able to send the first tax reform bill in 31 years to the president’s desk.”

The Senate tax reform bill would:

Provide Relief for Middle-Class Families

Lowers the individual tax rates for middle-income Americans so they can keep more of their hard-earned money.

·       Tax brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, 38.5%

Nearly doubles the standard deduction, protecting the first $24,000 married couples earn, and the first $12,000 individuals earn, from federal taxes. This would simplify tax filing for the American people.

·       Under the current tax code three out of 10 people itemize their taxes. With this legislation, the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation predicts the number of Americans who itemize will drop to one in 10.

For Americans who itemize it:

·       Allows a state and local property tax deduction of up to $10,000 on federal taxes.

·       Protects the mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and keeps the deduction for recently purchased homes, providing relief to current homeowners and those who aspire to own a home.

·       Reduces the threshold for deducting medical expenses to 7.5 percent to assist people with high medical costs, especially seniors and Americans with chronic illnesses. More than 8 million Americans use this deduction, half with incomes of $50,000 or less.

·       Keeps the adoption tax credit in place.

·       Preserves the charitable deduction and the student-loan interest deduction. 

Other provisions for middle-class families:

·       Incentivizes businesses to offer workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave with a tax credit as big as 25%. This provision mirrors Senator Fischer’s Strong Families Act.

·       Expands the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. Many families will be able to keep up to $4,000 more dollars every year if they have two children or more.

·       Maintains retirement savings programs like 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts so Americans can save for the future.

REAL WORLD IMPACT: According to the Senate Finance Committee, under this bill, a family of four with a combined annual income of around $73,000 will receive a tax cut of nearly $2,200. This is a reduction of nearly 60 percent of their current tax bill. A single parent with one child and an income of $41,000 will see a tax cut of nearly $1,400. This a reduction of nearly 75 percent.

Unleash Small Business Growth

Small businesses are important for Nebraska families and the state’s economy. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses make up more than 96 percent of Nebraska businesses. In 2016, Nebraska small businesses employed 394,009 people. At the time, that was 47.5 percent of Nebraska employees.

The Senate tax reform bill:

Provides a 23 percent deduction for most small businesses, which will lower their tax bills and give them more financial flexibility.

Preserves the 1031 like-kind exchanges and stepped-up basis that further help our small businesses, as well, especially agriculture businesses.

REAL WORLD IMPACT: According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, the pro-growth initiatives in this bill would add 6,493 jobs in Nebraska.

Making America Competitive Globally

Lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent so corporations can stay competitive in the global economy. American companies currently face the highest tax rate in the industrialized world.

Modernizes America’s antiquated international tax system to incentivize businesses to bring investments back to the United States.