Constituent’s idea could lead to tax relief
As a lifelong Michigan resident and a representative in Congress, I believe the best solutions to our nation’s problems come not from Washington, but from individuals and groups right here in the 4th Congressional District and around the country. Earlier this year, one constituent had just such an idea.
Like parents across Michigan, this constituent and his family, with three children under age 5, are facing increasing child care costs. In Michigan, average child care costs are about $10,000 a year.
His employer allows them to utilize a flexible savings account to pay for their child care. An FSA of up to $5,000 is available for a married couple and up to $2,500 for an individual filer.
In Michigan, we see rising costs in our grocery bills, health care and, for those with young children, child care. However, while the cost of child care is increasing, the amount of this tax benefit remains the same.
So, in an email to my office, this constituent suggested that our tax code should be updated to allow the tax-free benefit to increase with the rate of inflation.
Now his idea is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In June, I introduced H.R. 2891, my first bill. This legislation would adjust the FSA to the rate of inflation each year, allowing the benefit to reflect the reality of rising child care costs and leaving more hard-earned money in the pockets of Michigan families.
This tax relief would directly benefit the American middle class, because the benefit is widely provided by employers to their workers. This includes 58 percent of companies with 50 to 499 employees and 85 percent of companies with 500 to 4,999 employees.
I look forward to working in Congress to pass this important legislation on behalf of Michigan families. If H.R. 2891 becomes law, Michigan parents would be able to invest more toward the care of their children without being penalized by the tax code.
This bill is only one step in making our nation’s tax code simpler and fairer for Americans. Not only will real tax reform provide relief to families, but analysis by the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has found a simpler, fairer tax code would create 1.8 million private sector jobs over 10 years.
Until such an overhaul becomes law, simple fixes like H.R. 2891 should be passed to provide meaningful tax relief for middle-class families.
I am honored that a hardworking family in our district reached out to my office to share their situation. I hope you will continue to communicate your ideas to me.
If you have an idea about legislation, you can contact me through my website at https://moolenaar.house.gov/contact.
You can also reach the office at (989) 631-2552 and through postal mail at 200 E. Main St., Suite 230, Midland, MI 48640.
Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, represents Michigan’s 4th Congressional District.