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Tax Bill: What It Means for Nevadans

The new tax bill cuts corporate and individual tax rates, but only the corporate cuts are made permanent. (Cohdra/Morguefile)
The new tax bill cuts corporate and individual tax rates, but only the corporate cuts are made permanent. (Cohdra/Morguefile)
December 21, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. – President Donald Trump is celebrating the passage of the Republican tax bill, but opponents say it will explode the deficit, make corporate tax cuts permanent, drive up insurance rates and endanger programs that help the poor.

The bill slashes corporate rates from 35 to 21 percent, which is expected to balloon the deficit by about $1.5 trillion dollars over 10 years.

Supporters say it will create jobs to grow the economy.

But Francine Lipman, a law professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, says she expects Republican lawmakers to work down the debt by cutting programs that primarily benefit millions of low-income families.

"They're talking about cutting back on entitlements, and the enormous entitlement is Social Security and Medicare,” she states. “Without Social Security, 50 percent of seniors would live in poverty, and my guess is that statistic would be higher in Nevada."

The bill does give a modest tax cut to middle class families, but phases it out by 2027.

It would also double the amount of money people can pass on tax free to their heirs, something that directly benefits the super rich.

And it would cap the amount of state and local taxes people can deduct from their federal returns – something education advocates worry will make voters less likely to support school and infrastructure bonds in the future.

The bill also eliminates the individual mandate to buy health insurance. Lipman says that could lead millions of healthy people to drop their coverage.

"Without those healthy people in the pool, what will happen is, insurance companies are going to increase prices on everybody,” she stresses. “You need to blame the fact that members of Congress are undermining the Affordable Care Act."

The child tax credit has been increased, which will help low-income families. However, it will now only apply to children under 17. So, families whose college-age children still live at home will no longer be able to claim them as a dependent.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV