On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the biggest tax reform package in over 30 years. I was pleased to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and am grateful for the courage of my colleagues that voted to pass this bill on December 20, 2017.
The tax system we reformed was madly complex. The tax code was over 70,000 pages, and Americans spend over six billion hours and $168 billion to file their returns.
Arkansans and Americans deserved better.
Families in central Arkansas will see more of their income – nearly $2,000 annually for a family of four with a median income of $82,000 or for an individual making $50,000. Also, the standard deduction has doubled – to $12,000 for individual filers and $24,000 for married filers – creating a larger group of individuals with no tax burden. It is expected nearly 9 out of 10 Arkansas families will use the standard deduction and thus, have a simpler tax season.
Furthermore, this bill will continue to provide support to our local graduate students by allowing them to continue to exempt the value of reduced tuition from their taxes. Also, local developers and entrepreneurs in the Central Arksansas will continue to be able to take utilize the historic rehabilitation tax credit – the spark behind the renovation of dozens of buildings in Central Arkansas in recent years – and several other key tax breaks for development.
This tax reform bill also provides relief for Arkansans with expensive medical bills by expanding the medical expense deduction for 2017 and 2018 for medical expenses exceeding 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, and rising to 10 percent beginning in 2019.
You deserve to have back the time and the money spent filing to direct towards your family and financial future. Arkansas’s job creators deserve the right to decide how best to invest their hard earned dollars – including developing and expanding their businesses to support their community and to get Arkansans and Americans back to work.