WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after the final congressional passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, legislation that would cut taxes for working families in Louisiana. The bill will now be sent to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will cut taxes for working families, bring relief for flood victims, increase investment in Louisiana’s communities and coastline. I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in sending this bill to President Trump’s desk.
“The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings tax relief for working families in Louisiana who have struggled over the last 8 years. These families have seen an outdated tax code drive jobs overseas, their expenses have risen, and their paychecks have stagnated.
“Last election, families voted for change, better jobs, better wages. This tax reform bill delivers.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also includes disaster tax relief. Flood victims in North and South Louisiana who flooded in 2016 can deduct all of their personal casualty losses from their taxable income. This can be thousands of dollars to help families recover. It also waives early withdrawal penalty from their retirement accounts which they used to pay for rebuilding and recovery costs.
“A year has passed since the flood, I still see families living in homes with sheetrock and bare floors. They are struggling to recover and return to their homes. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, securing this tax relief was my top priority.
“The bill also preserves the Historic Tax Credit, which since 2002 has been involved with over 782 reconstruction projects in Louisiana, leveraging $2.5 billion in private investment, creating more than 38,000 jobs. For example, the World Trade Center in New Orleans is being rebuilt with these tax credits.
“We also included a provision that provides $100 million in new funding for coastal restoration and hurricane protection in Louisiana. This will increase the resiliency against future storms, protect the energy infrastructure, and the associated jobs in Louisiana from coastal erosion. Louisiana’s energy economy is vital to the United States’ economy. To achieve energy dominance, to create jobs in Louisiana, and to show the value of our workers and our facilities to the US economy, we must protect this energy infrastructure.”
The bill doubles the Child Tax Credit to $2,000, lowers income tax rates across the board, nearly doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for an individual and $24,000 for a couple filing jointly, preserves the Adoption Tax Credit as well as deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
According to the Tax Foundation’s analysis, the bill will boost take-home pay for Louisiana families by hundreds of dollars a year and create thousands of new jobs in Louisiana alone. In an open letter to Congress, 137 economists announced their support for the tax reform effort, writing, “Economic growth will accelerate if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for the American people.”
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Cassidy crafted or helped spearhead several provisions in the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including those that:
- Provide victims of last year’s floods in North and South Louisiana with $500 million in disaster tax relief, exempting them from tax penalties on early withdrawals of retirement account funds used for rebuilding and recovery, and allowing income tax deductions for qualifying personal casualty losses.
- Preserve the Historical Tax Credit, which since 2002 has facilitated over 782 projects in Louisiana, encouraging more than $2.5 billion in private rehabilitation investments and creating more than 38,000 jobs.
- Keep full business expense deduction for automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, and farm implement dealers who use floor plan financing. This will ensure small business dealers are treated fairly and are not subject to the risk of paying higher taxes, protecting jobs and economic growth.
- Reduce potential effects of a new investment excise tax on large private college endowments, helping small institutions such as Centenary College of Louisiana.
- Preserve Private Activity Bonds (PABs), which are widely used for airport and seaport projects, affordable housing, and nonprofit health and education facilities. In 2016, over $72 billion in PABs were issued for investments in nonprofit hospitals and universities, along with over $12 billion in PABs for airports, housing, and rural public cooperatives.
- Keep existing business structure commonly referred to as IC-DISC (Interest Charge Domestic International Sales Corporation). This will encourage small and medium businesses to export goods made in Louisiana.
- Identified deficit reduction mechanisms to help pay for a state and local property tax deduction up to $10,000, and an increased deduction (17.4 to 20 percent) for small business owners’ qualified business income (“pass-throughs”).