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Two-Fifths of Taxpayers to See Small Change or Increase Under Senate Bill, JCT Says

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Martin A. Sullivan

Leaked estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation reveal that two-fifths of all taxpayers would receive either a negligible change in their taxes or a tax increase under the Senate Finance Committee's reform package released November 9.

five-page memorandum from JCT Chief of Staff Thomas Barthold to an undisclosed member of Congress reveals that 40.2 percent of taxpayers would see their taxes change (positive or negative) by less than $100 or rise by more than $100 in 2019 under the Finance Committee's proposed mark. That figure would remain essentially unchanged through 2027, the JCT said. The memo was first reported in a blog post by The Wall Street Journal.

The JCT estimated 9.1 percent of all taxpayers would receive a tax increase of $100 or more for 2019 under the bill. 

For taxpayers with $100,000 or less in income, Tax Analysts using underlying JCT estimates calculates that 45.5 percent will receive either a change (positive or negative) of less than $100 or a tax increase of greater than $100 in 2019 under the proposed mark. Eight million taxpayers with less than $100,000 of income would be subject to tax increase of more than $100.

President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress stress that the tax legislation moving through Congress will provide significant tax relief for the middle class. According to the latest available Census Bureau estimate, median family income in the United States was $57,617 in 2016.

According to distribution tables released so far by the JCT, the Senate mark is considerably more generous to the middle class in out-years than the House versions of H.R. 1. A November 7 JCT analysis found that under the House bill as it stood before its committee markup, slightly fewer taxpayers (39 percent) would have little change or a tax increase in 2019 compared with that in the Senate bill, but by 2027 that figure would have risen to 53.8 percent.

Similar estimates for the House bill as approved by the Ways and Means Committee were not immediately available.