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Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Out with the old, in with the new (tax code)

Last December, we accomplished something historic for you and your family. The most sweeping reform of the tax code in more than three decades was signed into law. The goal was simple: to create more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks. Since the last time this happened in 1986, our tax code had become a mess of special interest loopholes, high rates for middle-class families, and complexity for small businesses and job creators. You deserve a tax code that is fair, and encourages American businesses to hire more workers and invest here at home – and that’s exactly the results the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is delivering for the middle-class families.

This year, we should all celebrate tax day for the first time … ever. Why? Because it’s the last time you and your families will ever file under the old, broken tax system. It’s the last time you will file under a tax code that works against you rather than for you—a tax code that made it difficult for families and small businesses to get by, let alone get ahead.

Next tax day will bring real relief to the annual hassle of filing taxes. The new law is designed to enable people in Eastern Washington to file their taxes in a simple and straightforward way. Additionally, the IRS has released a 2018 withholding calculator to help make sure you and your family are not sending more money to the other Washington this year than you should be by determining the appropriate withholding amount for your circumstances under the new law.

The Treasury Department estimates that 90 percent of Americans are already seeing more money in their paychecks as a result of tax reform. By nearly doubling the standard deduction, more of your hard earned pay is now tax free this year. In fact, the typical family of four making $75,000 a year will see a tax cut of more than $2,000.

Our tax plan also supports women and families. Under the improved Child Tax Credit, working parents will be able to reduce their federal income tax by up to $2,000 for each qualifying child. We also increased the fully refundable portion of the credit to $1,400 so families will receive more money depending on their tax liability. More money in families’ pockets means more options for child care and more savings for college.

The new tax law also preserved deductions for mortgage interest, property tax, and the ability of teachers to deduct expenses for school supplies, as well as the tax exempt status of graduate student tuition waivers so our students in Eastern Washington can focus on school.

As I travel around Eastern Washington, I continue to hear stories from people who are finding more money in their pockets as a result of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. In March, I visited Sonderen Packaging which reported its employees are now seeing anywhere from $70 to $300 more per month in their paychecks. Earlier this year, a woman called me who was so ecstatic about the extra $90 per month in her bank account that she was stumbling over her words with excitement. She told me it was more money to put food on the table for her family.

If you ask me, this money is going a lot further in your wallets than it ever would sitting in Washington, D.C. So, as you file your taxes this year just know, because of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, next year will be even better. The success of tax reform for hardworking families is already making a difference – and we’re just getting started.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers represents the 5th District in Eastern Washington. She is chair of the House Republican Conference, the fourth highest-ranking Republican in the House and the highest-ranking woman in Congress.


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