Durbin: GOP Tax Plan Needs To Look Beyond Board Room And Make Real Investments In The Middle Class

WASHINGTON—In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged his Republican colleagues to put partisanship aside and work with Democrats to craft a fiscally responsible tax reform plan that helps working class families, instead of hurting them.  The Republican plan proposes several changes to individual taxes, including eliminating the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, a deduction that is used by one-third of all taxpayers to reduce their tax bill. Under the Republican plan, 80 percent of all tax breaks will go to the top one percent wealthiest Americans.

“To pay for the tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America, the Republican tax reform plan cuts $1 trillion for Medicaid and $470 billion in cuts for Medicare.  While claiming to fix our broken tax code, this Republican tax reform plan would instead provide nothing short of a windfall to the wealthiest in our country and stick hardworking families in Illinois and across the country with the bill.  Under the Republican plan, no less than 80 percent of the benefits go to the top one percent of wealthiest Americans.  What about middle income Americans?  The Republican plan would raise taxes on nearly one-third of Americans who make between $50,000 and $150,000 a year.  That’s not tax relief for working families,” said Durbin.  “While American workers and their families continue to wait for their turn, the Republicans seem to be determined to provide tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy rather than make the tax code work for working families.  This has to stop.  It’s time we looked at tax reform and economic growth in terms of the family room, not the board room.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here. 

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

The Republican plan would raise taxes on nearly one-third of Americans making between $50,000 and $150,000 per year. A family of four making $50,000 a year in Illinois will pay $887 more under the Republican plan than current law.

The SALT deduction allows families that pay state and local taxes to deduct those taxes from their federal income tax. This deduction prevents families from being doubled taxed—once by the federal government and again by the state.

Illinois has the fifth highest number of taxpayers who claim the state and local tax deductions.  Nearly two million Illinois taxpayers claimed more than $24 billion in SALT deductions in 2015, each claiming an average $12,500 in deductions.  Of Illinoisans who claim SALT, around 85 percent of them earn less than $200,000 per year.

In Cook County – where there are more taxpayers taking the SALT deduction than in eight states combined – nearly 800,000 residents would be double-taxed on $10.39 billion—averaging over $13,000 of additional taxable income per taxpayer.