Randi Weingarten, president American Federation of Teachers, took to the pages of the Orange County Register to express concern for California’s more than 250,000 public school teachers. After noting that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said that it is middle class families who will receive benefits from the bill, Weingarten shares the facts that Ryan is trying to sweep under the rug:
Tell that to the educators who, under the House plan, will no longer be able to deduct a portion of the cost of items they buy for their students and classrooms. Or to the graduate students whose tuition benefits would be counted as taxable income, putting many of these modestly-paid workers in the nation’s highest tax bracket and making it prohibitively expensive to go to graduate school. Tell that to the families in the lowest tax bracket whose tax rate will go up yet can least afford it. Or the borrowers who will no longer be able to deduct the interest on their student loans or mortgages.
The impact in just one area, public education, shows how devastating and short-sighted these tax plans would be. Local services like public schools are financed through state and local taxes, including property taxes. Nationally, state income and sales taxes fund 46 percent of public education, and local property taxes contribute an additional 45 percent. That figure is even higher in California, where 57 percent of public education funding is tied to state income and sales taxes. Since the first federal income tax form in 1913, the federal government has incentivized localities to support themselves by allowing taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes. For the first time in more than a century, the GOP is changing that.
The entire opinion piece is worth reading.
National polling shows the Republican tax bills as some of the most unpopular in history, even more unpopular than when Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush raised taxes for everyone, not just Californians.
Constituents in California are unhappy with the support that this bill received from their elected member of Congress. And they are letting their voices be heard.
For example, there will be a rally at the Palmdale City Hall on Dec. 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm to explain how Rep. Steve Knight’s vote on the tax bill hurts the residents in his district. Knight represents Palmdale and the surrounding area.
The Senate is working on their version of a tax bill, and members of the House of Representatives will have to vote on a compromise bill.
The question remains: Will they listen to their constituents, or follow the orders of Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan?