U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam praised the new Republican tax plan -- estimated to cost trillions over a decade and be the biggest change to the tax code in years -- as tax relief for middle-income families and an opportunity for businesses to expand.
Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, chairs the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy and was one of the authors of the plan.
Under it, the number of income tax brackets would drop from seven to four. Married couples filing jointly with a taxable income between $19,050 and $90,000 would see their rate drop from 15 percent to 12 percent. Roskam said that would mean for a family of four with an income of $59,000 would be getting a $1,100 tax break.
Roskam said tax relief is what the people of Illinois need, especially after the recent income tax hike passed in Springfield.
But in the evaluation of Becky Anderson Wilkins, co-owner of Anderson's Bookshops and one of several Democrats vying to oppose Roskam next November, the GOP plan amounts to a tax hike for the families that go to her store every day.
Her spokeswoman Tracy Mayfield said the plan would hurt the middle class by cutting tax exemptions on the state income taxes, medical expenses and student loan interest payments.
Roskam said people will see that the net result of the plan means lower taxes for the middle class.
"Most people in my district are interested in tax relief, not interested in the equation," Roskam said. "As people evaluate this they are going to come to the same conclusion I have, which is its offering tax relief."