October 31, 2017

Cortez Masto: GOP Congress Has One Priority, Ripping Off America’s Middle Class & Working Families

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement in reaction to the latest news reports on congressional Republicans’ tax bill negotiations:

“Republicans in Congress have one priority: ripping off America’s middle class and working families. Rather than transparently writing a bill that puts economic growth and American’s financial security first, the current Republican tax proposal targets Nevada families. The latest Republican proposals would put our country even further in debt, take money out of working families pocketbooks, discourage homeownership for younger Americans by ending the mortgage deduction, and punish families and seniors that pay their monthly mortgage bills by destroying the values of their homes. This tax bill is for Mar-a-Lago, not for Main Street. As Republicans continue to negotiate away the interests of Nevada families, I want folks back home to know the stakes confronting them in these negotiations. The current Republican tax proposal lacks any input from their constituents and ignores the needs of the American people.

“I encourage Nevadans to make their voices heard: call, write, and tweet at the delegation. Let’s stand for tax reform in Congress that represents their interests, not the special interests.”

BACKGROUND:

You may find more information on how the current Republican corporate tax windfall harms Nevadans below:

  • The Republican tax plan would raise taxes on about 211,000 Nevada households in 2018. [IRS, 2015; ITEP, 2017]
    • The average tax increase on families nationwide earning up to $86,100 would be $794.
  • The Republican plan eliminates the personal exemption, which deducts $4,050 for each taxpayer and dependent on a return from taxable income.
    • In Nevada, 934,310 dependent exemptions were claimed in 2015. [IRS, 2015]
  • In 2015, 248,160 Nevada tax filers deducted their mortgage interest payments from their taxes.
    • By doubling the standard deduction and eliminating the State and Local Tax deduction, Trump’s plan would make the mortgage interest deduction useless for most of those with homes valued under $801,000, more than three times the $243,600 value of the median Nevada home. [IRS, 2015; Zillow, 2017]
  • The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds that millionaires in Nevada (0.26 percent of filers in 2015) would receive 56.6 percent of the benefits from the tax plan. [ITEP, 2017]
  • In Nevada, only 0.2 percent of all estates are subject to estate tax, which only affects people whose estates are worth more than $5.5 million ($10.98 million for couples). [CBPP, 2015]
  • A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that eliminating the SALT deduction would decrease home values by 10 percent nationally. Keeping the real estate deduction could help lessen that decrease, but by eliminating most of the SALT deduction and doubling the standard deduction, fewer taxpayers will itemize and take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction, which is what keeps the cost of home ownership affordable in many states.