Americans deserve a tax structure that is both simple and fair. The brunt of the burden shouldn’t sit on the middle class, especially not here in West Virginia where our citizens work hard every day to make ends meet. I’ve been thoroughly blessed with the opportunity to serve in the House of Delegates and affect change in state laws – particularly those expanding our gun rights and religious freedoms – but some issues must be addressed federally in our United States Congress.
I am urging Congress to act in support of President Trump’s agenda; work on reforming the tax code for the benefit of all Americans, particularly us Mountaineers.
Economic growth is largely stagnant and under the Obama administration West Virginia was crushed. Our citizens should not be punished by a tax code that takes hours and hundreds of dollars in compliance costs to dig through.
Data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that individuals spend what is estimated to be 13 hours on average filling out the basic 1040 tax form each year. Even further, an estimated 90 percent of taxpayers need assistance to do their taxes. It does not make sense for taxes to be so complex that the man or woman responsible for the tax cannot understand what they are even paying – that is the opposite of empowering our citizens.
The president’s plan will remove numerous targeted taxes and carve outs, thereby eliminating tax shelters. If Congress acts, we will finally no longer reward special interests and we will simplify the tax code immensely for the American people. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of families would be able to do their taxes on a single page under Trump’s proposal, and taxes will be streamlined for businesses as well. That means an estimated $18 billion saved in compliance costs alone for small business owners.
The standard deduction will increase from $6,300 up to $12,000 for single taxpayers and from $12,600 all the way up to $24,000 for couples. The first 24-grand earned by a family is tax-free, and families with children will get additional tax benefits after that. Simpler, fairer for the middle class, better for business – that is putting America first.
The top four richest counties in the U.S. are all in the D.C. metro area. Special interest groups have fought hard for carve outs and tax shelters buried in the thousands of pages of federal tax code. Meanwhile, average Americans are left to fight for scraps. No more exceptions and loopholes for the insider elites. It’s time for pro-growth measures, call your U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Senators and urge tax reform.
It’s well past time our leaders in Congress support a pro-growth tax reform agenda for our middle class. This is a genuine opportunity for our Republican-controlled branches of government to affect change and bring about increased prosperity for generations. For the benefit of us small-town West Virginians, Congress must act quickly on tax reform. Join me in contacting your congressman and senators, we deserve more jobs and growth right here at home.
Joshua Higginbotham (R-Poca) represents the 13th District in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
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