The last time our tax code was updated was 1986. Since then, it has become a complicated mess with too many special-interest loopholes. We have all heard countless stories from constituents impacted by a tax code that is outdated, unwieldy, and too often rewards special interests at the cost of regular folks. It has become abundantly clear that our outdated tax code is a major drag on our economy and on Michigan families struggling to get by.
That is why we all support efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to advance pro-growth, pro-American tax reform and relief.
Last month we laid out a basic framework for our vision of what this tax reform and relief looks like; we need to make our tax code simpler, fairer, and easier to understand, we should free up more money for workers here in Michigan and across the country by allowing them to keep more of their paychecks, we must level the playing field for businesses and workers to make America a worldwide jobs magnet, and we have to bring back trillions of dollars that are currently kept overseas so we can reinvest and reinvigorate our economy right here at home.
More specifically, we are aiming to help Michigan families keep more of their hard earned money by doubling standard deductions and increasing the Child Tax Credit. Under current law, the standard deduction is $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. Under our plan we propose raising the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and to at least $24,000 for families. Importantly, by doubling the standard deduction many more low-income families will pay 0 percent in federal income taxes. Yes, you read that right. On top of the increased standard deduction, our plan will also increase the Child Tax Credit — providing even more relief for middle-class families.
We also want to provide relief for families and businesses who spend too much time and money filing their taxes. Independent estimates show that taxpayers spend a combined $99 billion each year complying with their taxes — money they could otherwise use on what is important to them and their families. Imagine the simplicity of a “postcard” tax filing for the vast majority of Americans. That’s our goal.
Building out from this framework, we will deliver a 21st Century tax code that is built specifically for economic growth, Michigan middle-class families, and putting America’s interests first.
In Michigan we’re known for our blue-collar work ethic. We all strongly believe that our tax code should be a fair system that rewards hard work and playing by the rules. Our framework is not a final product and there is much work to be done to make tax reform a reality.
We encourage you to make your voice heard and let us know what you want out of tax reform here: fairandsimple.gop. Working together, we can and we will provide tax reform and relief for all Americans.
The authors, all Republicans, represent Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives.