Tax bill cynical, dishonest and harmful

Posted11/14/2017 12:01 AM

As Chairman of the Way & Means Tax Policy Committee, 6th District Congressman Peter Roskam should be sensitive to tax issues that might harm Illinois.

That does not appear to be the case; either Mr. Roskam was overruled, or he simply turned a blind eye to his state's concerns. The tax bill that emerged from his committee will benefit many Illinois businesses, have marginal benefits for middle income taxpayers, but that is where it ends. The bill is laced with poison pills for Illinois.

First, the elimination of deductions for state income tax will place an enormous political burden on state and local taxing bodies, especially with the recent state income tax increase. Illinois' financial crisis may significantly worsen if there are efforts to roll back that increase. At a time when schools and municipalities are struggling to meet their budgets, the public will be clamoring for them to do with even less.

Similarly, the cap on mortgage interest and property tax deductions will have a smothering effect on Illinois real estate, especially for those who own homes in areas that are heavily taxed, or where home values have dramatically increased. Retirees who have lived in the same home for decades may suddenly discover that their property is much less desirable to prospective buyers.

There is also the sobering reality that this bill will add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years, and in spite of the fuzzy math that supporters are using to sell this bill, it still flies in the face of the rhetoric Republican lawmakers have been spouting for the past decade. The bill is cynical, dishonest, and harmful to the citizens of Illinois. As President Trump is fond of saying, "Somebody oughta do something."

William S. Hicks


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