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Indivisible Charlottesville Urges Congressman Garrett to Vote Against Tax Bill

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Members of Indivisible Charlottesville Members of Indivisible Charlottesville
People gathered at the Albemarle County Office Building People gathered at the Albemarle County Office Building
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

In light of the House of Representatives vote and the upcoming Senate vote, opponents of Congressman Tom Garrett were back out to protest his stance on the tax bill.

Members of Indivisible Charlottesville gathered in front of the Albemarle County Office Building on Tuesday, December 19, urging the Republican to vote "no" on what they call a tax scam for the American people.

Garrett voted "yes."

Dozens of people held signs that spoke out against the tax bill and highlighted parts of the bill that they feel do not represent people’s best interests.

Indivisible Charlottesville says that the current bill steals from the American people to pay Republican politicians and it will destroy the health care exchanges by repealing the individual mandate.

“Today we just want to make our voices heard and spread awareness that this bill is just intended to make the rich richer,” says Caroline Melton, the organizer of the protest. “It doesn't do anything for working-class families and to remind Congressman Garrett that we will remember how he votes when it's time to vote in November of 2018.”

In a statement, Garrett says he is pleased the final bill preserves the federal historical tax credit and the student loan interest deduction.

If the bill passes the Senate and is signed by President Trump, most provisions will take effect in 2018.

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Office of Congressman Tom Garrett Press Release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 19, 2017)—Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) issued the following statement after voting in support the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

"Reforming our broken tax system isn’t about Congress, and it’s not about the President, it's about creating opportunity, growing our economy, and creating a simpler and fairer tax system that allows hard-working Americans to keep more of their own money."

“Over the past several weeks I have worked with my colleagues to improve the final version of this bill. I am pleased that the final bill included language that preserves a Federal Historic Tax Credit, maintains a student loan interest deduction, and continues to exempt graduate students from taxes on reduced tuition."

“The real promise of tax reform for hard-working Americans rests in the pro-growth incentives I voted for in this bill. As with Regan and Kennedy before, those pro-growth incentives favor innovating, investing, hiring, and better wages by ensuring that we are more competitive position in the global marketplace.”

Summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Doubles the Child Tax Credit from the current $1k to $2k while also making more families eligible for the credit by raising the income threshold to cover the vast majority of families with children, while also making the credit refundable for low income families;
    • Grants a $500 nonrefundable credit for other qualifying dependents such as certain college students and older adult dependents;
  • Incentivizes businesses to provide Paid Parental Leave of up to 12 weeks. This is a first of its kind tax credit that will help Moms and Dads after the birth of a child or with an emergency medical situation;
  • Preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as well as Childcare Flexible accounts to help hardworking two earner families care for children and older dependents such as disabled grandparents;
  • Bans businesses from deducting settlements and fees for sexual harassment and abuse cases.
  • Includes incentives to create “Opportunity Zones” to encourage investment in distressed communities by deferring capital gains which will give these communities a lifeline for growth;
  • Roughly doubles the Standard Deduction from $6,500 for individuals and $13,000 for couples to $12,000 and $24,000;
  • Retains the Adoption Tax Credit;
  • Preserves the Mortgage Deduction;
    • For all homeowners with existing mortgages that were taken out to buy a home, there will be no change to the current mortgage interest deduction;
    • For homeowners with new mortgages on a first or second home, the home mortgage interest deduction will be available up to $750,000;
  • Allows deductions for state, local income, sales, and property taxes up to $10,000. (This provision is improved from both the House and Senate versions of the bill by providing individuals and families the ability to choose among sales, income and property taxes to best fit their unique circumstances);
  • Preserves the 401(k) and the charitable deductions provisions in the tax code to protect and promote savings for retirement and to support charitable giving;
  • Reduces the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) provision;
  • Provides tax incentives for craft brewers, distillers, and wineries for two years which will further grow the Central Virginia economy and promote tourism;
  • Currently, under Obamacare, the medical expense deduction would rise to a threshold for expenses of 10% for 2018. This legislation would restore the 7.5% threshold for two years, until 2020;
  • Maintains the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide vital tax relief for low-income working families to build better lives for themselves;
  • Helps families pay for education by allowing them to use 529 accounts to save for elementary, secondary and higher education;
  • Allows graduate students to continue to be exempt from taxes on the value of reduced tuition;
  • Maintains the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program
  • Maintains the current Student Loan Deduction;
  • Maintains the Teacher Classroom Supply Deduction;
  • Maintains the preferential tax treatment for private activity bonds that helps finance transportation and infrastructure projects for localities, cities, and states;
  • Maintains the personal pre-tax commuter benefit for transit, parking, and biking;
  • Reduces the impact of the Death Tax by doubling the amount of the current exemption to reduce uncertainty and costs for many of our family-owned farms and businesses when they pass down their life’s work to the next generation;
  • Lowers the tax rates to 0%, 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37% so taxpayers can keep more of their hard-earned money.