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The Tax Bill is, Well, Taxing

My oppo­si­tion to the new tax bill is self­ish. It’s gonna cost me money!

As a res­i­dent of Philadel­phia, Penn­syl­va­nia, I live in one of the bluest cities in one of the bluer states in the coun­try. I pay city and state taxes — both of which will no longer be deductible under the proposals.

I under­stand the argu­ment that the tax bill is intended to hold the line on exor­bi­tant gov­ern­ment bud­gets. But Philadel­phia and Penn­syl­va­nia are not known for their penny-​pinching, and the pro­posed tax bill is unlikely to change that.

Keep in mind, how­ever, that Penn­syl­va­nia voted for Trump, and it’s unlikely that I am the only one who voted for the Repub­li­cans in 2016 and will lose money.

It’s a risky sce­nario given the fact that Penn­syl­va­nia hadn’t voted for a Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in decades. More­over, the mar­gin of vic­tory was only 44,000 votes out of six mil­lion cast.

Con­gress should look at allow­ing a stan­dard­ized amount that peo­ple should be able to deduct for state and local income taxes — say $5,000 across the board.

Sure, the increase of the exemp­tion for a mar­ried cou­ple from $12,700 to $24,000 will help but not enough to swing the tax bill is my favor.

There’s more. The cap on the real estate tax exemp­tion at $10,000 will help me but not the many Repub­li­cans in the sub­urbs who pay much higher taxes than I do in the city.

And there’s more. The elim­i­na­tion of the deduc­tions for char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions will hit my wife and me. I doubt it will cause us to give less. But it does mean we will face higher taxes here, too. The elim­i­na­tion of the tax credit for adop­tions makes no sense to me, par­tic­u­larly when it prob­a­bly saved the lives of some poten­tial vic­tims of abortion.

It appears that my deduc­tions for my home office will dis­ap­pear. I’ve had out­side income for more than 20 years and have reduced the tax expo­sure with my expenses at home. The tax bill means that I will be unable to deduct some of the costs I spend to do research in China, which I have done over the past three years.

I under­stand that the GOP needs a win, and I’d be will­ing to help finance a bit of that. At the moment, how­ever, the cost is sim­ply too steep, prob­a­bly in the neigh­bor­hood of sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars. Since I don’t think I’m alone in my eco­nomic and polit­i­cal quandary, Con­gress and the pres­i­dent need to come up with some changes to make the tax bill more palat­able. Oth­er­wise, I am afraid the plan will lose more votes than gain them.

tax

My opposition to the new tax bill is selfish. It’s gonna cost me money!

As a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I live in one of the bluest cities in one of the bluer states in the country. I pay city and state taxes—both of which will no longer be deductible under the proposals.

I understand the argument that the tax bill is intended to hold the line on exorbitant government budgets. But Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are not known for their penny-pinching, and the proposed tax bill is unlikely to change that.

Keep in mind, however, that Pennsylvania voted for Trump, and it’s unlikely that I am the only one who voted for the Republicans in 2016 and will lose money.

It’s a risky scenario given the fact that Pennsylvania hadn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate in decades. Moreover, the margin of victory was only 44,000 votes out of six million cast.

Congress should look at allowing a standardized amount that people should be able to deduct for state and local income taxes—say $5,000 across the board.

Sure, the increase of the exemption for a married couple from $12,700 to $24,000 will help but not enough to swing the tax bill is my favor.

There’s more. The cap on the real estate tax exemption at $10,000 will help me but not the many Republicans in the suburbs who pay much higher taxes than I do in the city.

And there’s more. The elimination of the deductions for charitable contributions will hit my wife and me. I doubt it will cause us to give less. But it does mean we will face higher taxes here, too. The elimination of the tax credit for adoptions makes no sense to me, particularly when it probably saved the lives of some potential victims of abortion.

It appears that my deductions for my home office will disappear. I’ve had outside income for more than 20 years and have reduced the tax exposure with my expenses at home. The tax bill means that I will be unable to deduct some of the costs I spend to do research in China, which I have done over the past three years.

I understand that the GOP needs a win, and I’d be willing to help finance a bit of that. At the moment, however, the cost is simply too steep, probably in the neighborhood of several thousand dollars. Since I don’t think I’m alone in my economic and political quandary, Congress and the president need to come up with some changes to make the tax bill more palatable. Otherwise, I am afraid the plan will lose more votes than gain them.

tax