Utica-area Congressmember Claudia Tenney says it appears the final tax reform bill will include most of the provisions she’s fought for over the past few weeks. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t continuing to advocate for New York. Tenney knows the legislation continues to change, and so far she says, it’s been for the better.
"There's a lot on it. We're not sure what the final bill is going to look like, but it's been improved."
For example, she and others have been successful in retaining portions of the state and local tax deduction in the House, which Tenney says amounts to relief for taxpayers struggling under New York’s high tax burden. She’s also calling on House and Senate leadership to keep medical expense deductions and the child care tax credit. Tenney says when you add all of it up, residents will see results in their first January paychecks.
"Doubling the standard deduction, getting rid of the AMT [alternative minimum tax], and providing a lower rate, which the Senate is doing, is going to show substantial savings and tax cuts for virtually every lower and middle income families. The first $24,000 is going to be completely tax-free."
Tenney says contrary to some of the rhetoric, the wealthy will generally pay more..
"I know democrats keep screaming the millionaires and billionaires are getting a tax break. The opposite is true. Millionaires and billionaires in New York are complaining. They're upset because, for the most part, they're getting a tax increase."
Tenney says while she’s not entirely certain about everything that’s included in the ever-changing legislation, she has been in almost constant communication with the chair of the house ways and means committee.
"I've talked to Kevin Brady every single day, including Saturdays and Sundays. I've probably sent him a hundred emails, hundreds and hundreds of texts, all kinds of messaging on what we need to do to help New York state taxpayers."
And for the most part, she says he’s been willing to listen. She’s also urged leaders to retain the historic tax credit which many New York communities count on to restore important older structures.