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Ivanka Trump, Steve Mnuchin tell Granite Staters that Tax Day will be less painful in 2019

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

April 17. 2018 2:59PM
“This is a big deal — the simplification of the tax code,” Ivanka Trump said during a town hall-style meeting Tuesday, April 17, at the Derry Opera House. (DAVID L)



DERRY — First daughter Ivanka Trump visited the Granite State Tuesday - the final day to file 2017 taxes without an extension - to say relief is on the way for the middle class and small businesses.

“This is a big deal — the simplification of the tax code,” Ivanka Trump said at a town hall-style meeting at the Derry Opera House, where she and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin discuss tax reform.

“We are at an all-time high of consumer confidence, small business sentiment is through the roof and unemployment rates are incredible low,” said Ivanka, who serves as a special advisor to President Donald Trump, her father. “It is a testament to the President’s vision and the administration’s institution.”

Trump told the crowd of about 150 that the new tax law means more money in pay checks and higher wages, which together are an investment in the next generation of Americans.

“We have already seen the results,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, with hundreds of companies giving bonuses to workers as a result of tax savings.

It has been 30 years since the nation has experienced tax reform like this and the tax cuts are having an enormous affect on the economy, he said.

“President Trump was able to fix a broken tax system,” Mnuchin asserted.

The tax plan lets businesses write off what they invest in year one, therefore enabling small business to continue driving economic growth nationwide, he said.

Most people are never going to love Tax Day, but Trump told the Derry crowd Americans “will like it a whole lot better next year” with the doubling of the standard deduction, a dependent care credit and broadening who is eligible.

“This gives people hope,” said Marga Coulp of Dover, who attended Tuesday’s tax forum.

Coulp has owned Classic Cutters hair salon in Portsmouth for more than 40 years. She said capping the small business tax rate to 25 percent allows her to pay workers more and to potentially hire new staff.

“My girls have a little bit more money in their paycheck,” said Coulp, who operated five salons until scaling back in the 1980’s because of what she described as an overly stringent tax code.

Classic Cutters employs 13 now, but Coulp said she itends to hire several more workers over the next year or two.

Coulp said those opposed to Trump’s tax plan are uneducated about its benefits.

Analysts and economists critical of the president’s tax plan believe a drop in federal revenue in combination with and the recently passed bipartisan spending bill will balloon the U.S. deficit and national debt.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allows people to deduct up to 20 percent of pass-through earnings in which an individual pays taxes on their businesses’ income in individual income taxes.

The new law was passed late last year over opposition of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

According to a release from the Granite State Progress Education Fund, the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides about $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to individuals and corporations, with about two-thirds going to the richest 20 percent of households this year and nearly 83 percent of tax benefits going to the richest 1 percent by 2027 when the law is fully implemented.

“Despite a PR campaign meant to convince the public that businesses are passing along their tax cuts to employees, the reality is that most of the tax cuts are going where many economists had predicted — into the pockets of rich CEOs and other wealthy shareholders,” Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of the Granite State Progress Education Fund, said in a statement. “Most health industry companies, including the largest pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Pfizer, will get massive tax breaks, but will not pass these on to their employees in the form of wage increase or bonuses.”

During a news conference Tuesday, Lisa Beaudoin, executive director of ABLE New Hampshire, said that when the federal government cuts its budget, New Hampshire must make up the difference with local tax revenue or residents lose important services.

“This tax bill is a slow death sentence to people with developmental disabilities because they will be paying dearly for the tax cuts. People with disabilities will die because of a tax bill for the wealthy,” warned Beaudoin.

“New Hampshire has no sales tax, no income tax. It has that because we have voters that care about efficiency in government and make sure that what we spend we spend efficiently,” said former Gov. John Sununu, moderator for Tuesday’s town hall event in Derry.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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