Durbin and Duckworth: GOP Tax Bills Will Hurt Central Illinois

Nov 9, 2017
Originally published on November 9, 2017 3:12 pm

Illinois’ Democratic senators on Thursday blasted dueling Republican tax reform bills, saying tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy come at the expense of middle-class taxpayers.

Senate Republicans unveiled their own tax overhaul bill Thursday, a week after House GOP leaders did the same. The Senate version would eliminate the state and local tax deduction widely used when filing federal taxes. The House version would curtail it but still allow people to deduct property taxes up to $10,000.

In a statement Thursday, Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said the elimination of the state and local tax deduction would raise taxes on 25 percent of taxpayers in the 13th Congressional District, which includes much of Central Illinois. The average deduction for that district is around $5,300.

For example, a single person living in Springfield making $25,000-$50,000 annually would see a tax increase of almost $600, according to numbers provided by Durbin and Duckworth.

“This information shows that gutting state and local tax deductions will hit Illinois hard and hurt hard-working families in the 13th Congressional District,” Durbin said in a statement. “I hope my House Republican colleagues will abandon this backwards approach and join a bipartisan effort to provide hard working families across Illinois and the country the relief they desperately need.”

Illinois has the fifth-highest number of taxpayers claiming the state and local tax deduction, so “Illinois is hit especially hard by the Republican efforts to gut the deduction,” Durbin and Duckworth said.

The two Democrats said House Republicans were “rushing” their bill to passage. They say a corporate tax rate cut (from 35 percent to 20 percent) “would be paid for by exploding the deficit and cutting vital programs for low- and middle-income Illinois families.”

“Though some may say this House Republican tax plan helps the middle class, the reality is it will simply help Donald Trump’s ultra-wealthy friends and family line their own pockets while small businesses and hardworking Americans again are left with the bill, forced to pay more in taxes, not less,” Duckworth said in a statement. “It’s time to go back to the drawing board and work on bipartisan solutions that help the middle-class families and small businesses that drive our economy.

“That’s not a Democratic or a Republican idea. It’s just common-sense,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who represents the 13th Congressional District, said the House GOP bill will “allow average middle-income families to keep more of what they earn.”

“By improving areas of the tax code most utilized by the middle-class, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act turns our tax code from one that only works for a select few, to one that benefits the majority of working Americans,” Davis said in a statement. “In the coming days and weeks, members from both chambers and both sides of the aisle will have an opportunity to give their input and ensure we end up with the best possible bill for our country’s economy and the people we represent.

"We have an opportunity to change the lives of working Americans for the better and I hope Democrats will help us do that," Davis added.

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