Opinion Pieces

A Tax Overhaul Three Decades in the Making

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Washington, December 21, 2017 | comments
Christmas came a few days early for the American people this week. It’s not the “Jelly of the Month Club,” but it is a gift that will keep on giving the whole year.
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Christmas came a few days early for the American people this week. It’s not the “Jelly of the Month Club,” but it is a gift that will keep on giving the whole year.

This week, Congress passed comprehensive tax reform, giving our tax system its first overhaul in more than 30 years. While there are many aspects to tax reform, throughout the legislative process, I have fought for what I know is important to the families and communities in the 15th District.   

Like many, when the original tax reform bill was introduced, I had concerns about the elimination of the tax exemption for graduate student tuition waivers. This important part of our tax code helps students at universities across the country – including Ohio University and Ohio State University – by exempting reduced tuition from being taxed as income. Many universities waive tuition costs for students who work as teaching or research assistants while attending graduate school. For some, this is the only way they can afford to pursue graduate degrees. However, without the tuition waiver provision, any discount in tuition would be considered taxable income, putting a great financial burden on our graduate students.

That’s why I fought to preserve the tax exemption on graduate student tuition waivers and I am proud it is maintained in the final passed version of tax reform. With this provision preserved, students can have the opportunity to attend graduate school without the burden of being taxed for the additional work they do to offset the cost of tuition.

I also fought successfully to expand the child tax credit for working parents in our country. As a parent, I know firsthand that raising children comes with expenses. From medical expenses, to new clothes, to just putting more food on the table, parents need all the help we can give them. The tax reform bill, as passed, will expand the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, giving working families relief and support so they can provide for their children.

Another important provision I worked to keep intact is the historic tax credit. No matter the size of the town or city, historic buildings on the national register are often the centerpiece of a community. It is important that we protect and preserve these historic landmarks for future generations. For many communities, the historic tax credit is relied upon to help with downtown restoration projects to ensure the integrity of the buildings is maintained while being functional. It was beneficial to our local communities that this tax credit was maintained in the final legislation.

Finally, I was proud to work to ensure the low-income housing tax credit was preserved in tax reform. Thousands of families, individuals, and seniors rely on low-income housing for a safe and affordable place to live. Maintaining the low-income housing tax credit will ensure businesses can continue investing in these important projects so homes will still be available to those who are most in need.

These are just a few of the provisions in the tax reform bill that will help families and communities across the country. I’m proud to have supported tax reform because these issues will specifically help the 15th district. Tax reform is truly the gift that will not only keep on giving the whole year, it will keep on giving for years to come. To learn more about how tax reform will help you and your family, visit fairandsimple.gop.

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