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Congressman Lloyd Smucker

Representing the 16th District of Pennsylvania

Done the right way, tax reform is a game-changer

November 13, 2017
In The News

Every American deserves the opportunity to pursue his or her own version of the American Dream. For too long, our complicated tax code has left families feeling like they’re doing everything right, but still struggling to make ends meet. Studies show 33 percent of people consider themselves $400 away from financial crisis, and 50 percent feel they live paycheck to paycheck. The status quo isn’t working. Tax reform can be a game-changer — if we do it correctly.

Two weeks ago, House Republicans released our tax reform bill designed to create more opportunity for middle-class families. Our goal is more than just a tax cut for American families — it’s a complete overhaul of our federal tax code. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reinvests in America and its workforce. If we put our workers and communities on a level playing field, instead of burdening them with an outdated tax code that holds them back, our nation and our neighborhoods will win every time.

Under our plan, a family of four making $59,000 per year will save $1,182. It lowers rates for everyone so hardworking families will see more of their paychecks. It nearly doubles the standard deduction, which 70 percent of filers in our district use. It increases the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600 to help with the cost of raising children, and it establishes a new credit for adult dependents, too. It reduces the tax burden on small businesses so Main Street can thrive. And it simplifies our code and makes it more honest. These changes will result in more jobs and higher wages by reinvesting in our economy and our workers.

Last week, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers joined me in Conestoga to discuss tax reform with a diverse group of families, small and large business owners and farmers. Here are just some of the faces of tax reform in our community:

Chris Buck is a government and economics teacher in northern Lancaster County. He’s the father of four young children and he thinks about tax reform through the lens of a father and a husband. He’s excited that tax reform means a bigger child tax credit, and a simplified filing process means more time to spend with his family.

Cinthia Kettering runs a successful insurance brokerage firm in Lancaster. She would love to pay her employees more, but the burdensome federal tax code and high rates often prevent her from awarding those raises. Tax reform allows her to reinvest in her employees and grow her company.

Travis Eby and his brother Nick own and operate M.H. Eby in eastern Lancaster County, which manufactures truck bodies for commercial and agricultural markets and was founded by their grandfather in 1938. When asked what he would do with tax savings as a result of our tax reform plan, Travis said, “We would continue to invest in our employees.”

Tom Duff is the CEO of Mount Joy Wire — a leader in manufacturing wire for aerospace, automotive, medical and many other applications. Tom wants to better compete with foreign competitors. Tax reform will help make his Pennsylvania workers, who pride themselves on “Made in the USA,” more competitive in an increasingly global economy.

These are the real faces of tax reform in our community. The status quo on taxes isn’t working.

Of course, something this important and far-reaching must be done correctly and carefully. A few issues were raised at our local forum that need answers. Our community has been contacting me and my office about the details of this plan, sharing feedback and perspective. The proposed changes have a real effect on our lives, jobs and communities, including how we save, work, seek and provide care, learn and live. We need positive change that works for Pennsylvania’s 16th District.

Throughout this process, I have been taking your feedback to Washington and talking about these issues to help influence the process and outcome. I will continue, as I always have, fighting for those I represent to help ensure the final product works for all of us. 

I encourage constituents to visit my website to see the details of our plan and learn how it will impact them. I’m confident my constituents will see our goal for what it is: a direct investment in hardworking Americans and the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that built this great nation.

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