By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS
UnidosUS supports tax reform that puts more money in workers’ pockets. Unfortunately, that is not contemplated in the GOP tax plan.
The GOP tax plan takes a swipe at everyone but the wealthiest Americans and corporations. It’s a morally reprehensible plan that would deliver between $10 and $40 in tax cuts to the bottom two-fifths while cutting taxes by $278,370 for the top 0.1%.
“This plan benefits the wealthiest, and wealthy corporations, especially Donald Trump and his own cabinet,” Jeremy Slevin, Associate Director of Advocacy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress told attendees yesterday at a briefing hosted by UnidosUS on Capitol Hill to educate congressional staffers and allies on how the GOP tax plan will affect Latino families across the United States.
THE GOP TAX PLAN HURTS IMMIGRANTS WITH CHILDREN
A vote on Trump’s tax plan is expected this week on the House floor. It’s expected that the Senate will vote to move their version of the bill out of committee this week as well.
Samantha Vargas Poppe, Associate Director of the UnidosUS Policy Analysis Center further broke down how the GOP tax plan would affect Latino families and communities if it were passed into law.
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Latino families would see little benefit from the Trump tax plan. Some including undocumented immigrants who pay their taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number would see themselves actively shut out of claiming benefits such as the Child Tax Credit that help them support their children.
An estimated 80% of families that would be affected by this policy change are Hispanic. Restricting eligibility for the Child Tax Credit by requiring a Social Security Number on the tax filing would cause nearly four million U.S.-citizen Latino children and their families to face the possibility of falling into poverty.
THE GOP TAX PLAN HURTS LATINOS PAYING OFF STUDENT LOANS
As Poppe explained, children in families that receive the Child Tax Credit do better in school, enroll in college at higher rates, and have lower rates of unemployment. “The economy of our future relies on students being able to go to college,” she told attendees.
In 2016, a record 3.6 million Latinos enrolled in undergraduate degree programs, and enrollment is expected to continue to rise. By 2025, it is estimated that one in five undergraduates will be Latino.
The Trump and GOP tax plan would slash essential tax credits, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, as well as cancel the student loan interest deduction, both of which help families support students, and students make ends meet when they begin their professional lives.
The GOP tax plan would also squeeze small businesses, with 90% of Latino-owned small businesses seeing no benefit, and taxes would actually increase for more than 1.5 million Latino-owned businesses due to the repeal of the alternative minimum tax which allows for personal exemptions to help small business owners grow their business.
THE GOP TAX PLAN HURTS TEACHERS
The details of the tax plan itself are changing rapidly, and seeing as the House and the Senate will have to reconcile their versions of the bill after they pass them, the final details are still unknown.
Slevin pointed out that the tax plan fight is not happening in isolation. The Trump administration’s budget clearly indicated that services such as education, health care, and policies that meaningfully create employment are not priorities.
The Trump and GOP tax plan for example would not allow teachers to deduct the amount of their own money they used to buy school supplies. It would yank a key tax credit that encourages businesses to hire vulnerable populations such as disabled veterans. And it would raise taxes for graduate students already struggling to support themselves and pay off their student loans.
THE GOP TAX PLAN HURTS ANYONE WHO ISN’T WEALTHY
Chuck Marr, Director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted that the Republicans are doing something very deliberate with their tax plan, in addition to ensuring that they line the pockets of their wealthy donors.
“They’re creating a fiscal problem, and their solution will be to cut the things we care about,” he explained, noting the cuts that have already been proposed to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid that help families access affordable health care.
For example, a married couple that makes $200,000 a year and that has two children would receive $3,200.
By contrast, a single mom with two kids that makes $14,000 a year would receive nothing.
“We believe that any tax plan must support working families,” Vargas Poppe said, adding that the current GOP tax plan is a “direct attack on tax-paying immigrants.”
Rafael Collazo, Director of Political Campaigns at UnidosUS, went further, saying that the GOP and Trump’s tax plan “threatens the health and safety of the Latino community.”