The New Tax Code Brings More Opportunity to West Michigan
Recently, Tax Day, it’s probably not very high up on your list of things to look forward to and rightfully so. For decades, our outdated federal tax code forced hardworking taxpayers across West Michigan to send more of their money to Washington. However, thanks to the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, things are about to change.
First and foremost, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowers tax rates across the board. This means more of your money stays in your pocket, instead of going into Washington’s. In fact, the next time you file your taxes, the standard deduction will nearly double to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for joint-filers, protecting more of your dollars from Washington. Raising a family is expensive, which is why the new law also doubles the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000. The new tax code also preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as well as the Adoption Tax Credit.
West Michigan is known around the nation as a community that opens its doors to children in search of a forever home. I fought to preserve the Adoption Tax Credit because I believe the federal government should try to minimize financial barriers to adoption and help loving families connect with children in need of one.
Additionally, the new tax law improves the ability of West Michigan families to save for their children’s education by expanding 529 accounts to include the cost of elementary and secondary schools as well as the cost of higher education at a trade school, community college, or university. This forward thinking approach will help West Michigan families plan for their children’s future and success.
When all is said and done, under the new law, a typical family of four earning $73,000 a year will receive a tax cut of approximately $2,000. Those aren’t crumbs; they are significant savings and mean a world of difference to families seeking to replace an appliance, plan a vacation, or make home improvements. The point is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act returns your hard-earned money for you to use as you see fit.
Another way the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is positively impacting West Michigan is by overhauling the tax code for job creators of all sizes. The new law has already cut taxes for small businesses to a level not seen since World War II. This will allow job creators on Main Street to raise wages, create jobs, and reinvest so they can grow their business. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), more small businesses are raising wages than at any time in the past 17 years and optimism remains near its all-time high. Last week, Lawn Doctor in Hudsonville and Two Men in a Truck in Wyoming were among hundreds of franchise small businesses who said their small businesses and employees will directly benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Lastly, the new tax law lowers our uncompetitive corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. This will help level the playing field for American companies to compete internationally as well as benefit the employees who work there. Already, Walmart announced nearly $12 million in bonuses to employees in Michigan, while also increasing wages for hourly associates, expanding maternity and paternity leave benefits, and creating a $5,000 benefit to help with the costs associated with adoption. Chrysler announced a $1 billion investment in Michigan that would create 2,500 new jobs on top of $2,000 bonuses for employees following tax reform. And here locally, SpartanNash announced it is raising wages, enhancing training, and issuing bonuses because of tax reform.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law only five months ago, and we are already seeing the positive impact it is having on hardworking taxpayers and job creators across West Michigan. Bigger paychecks, higher wages, and enhanced benefit packages for West Michigan’s workforce should be celebrated. As should lower tax rates that help middle income West Michigan families keep more of their hard-earned money. Tax reform is something I have fought for since I was first elected to represent the Second District, and I believe we will continue to see and hear about it delivering results that increase economic opportunity and financial security for West Michigan families.
Thank you for listening,