Protesters oppose Reed’s stance on tax reform

Photo by Gavin Paterniti Protesters gather outside the Jamestown offices of Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, in opposition to Reed’s supporting stance on The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill, which currently sits under review in the U.S. House of Representatives.

JAMESTOWN — A handful of locals took to the street outside the Jamestown offices of Rep. Tom Reed to voice their discontent with their Congressman’s stance on the controversial tax reform bill.

On Wednesday, protestors convened at the intersection of Second and Main streets in protest of Reed’s intent to vote “yes” on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is currently being reviewed in the House of Representatives.

The gathering held signs bearing phrases such as “Reed sold us out,” “Truth, not tweets,” “Say ‘no’ to the tax scam” and “Repeal and replace Reed.”

When asked for insight into their protest, several in attendance freely stated their motives.

Some protesters stated that Reed’s track record doesn’t reflect the wishes of his constituency, arguing that a “yes” from Reed on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a “yes” for corporate America. Others likened Reed’s stance to “stealing” from the working people and giving to the nation’s wealthiest 1 percent.

Stacey Curry, of Derby, brought with her a chart displaying the proposed changes to the nation’s tax brackets, and said the tax cuts as they are being sold to the American public in the bill are, in actuality, something quite different.

“I’m outraged that Tom Reed is on TV every day touting tax breaks for every family,” Curry said. “By 2027 every family earning under $75,000 per year will end up with a tax increase, while every family earning under $30,000 will get a tax increase right off the bat.”

In response to Wednesday’s protest, Reed, R-Corning, made the following statement through his office: “I have heard the voices from across the district and the message is clear: people deserve a tax cut, and this legislation will deliver just that. This bill ensures families will be able to keep $1,600 more of their hard earned dollars. This is a win for folks in our region and I will be sure their voices are carried to Washington. My office is open to hearing concerns and are always here to listen.”

In a conference call Tuesday, Reed voiced his support for the bill and expressed his desire to see it come across President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of the year.

Reed said he and his colleagues would like to get the reform “on the books” to make sure the tax withholding tables, which determines the amount of taxes taken out for payroll, and tax forms for filing will be ready. He added it will also allow people to see more money in their paychecks sooner due to the new tax brackets which would result in less being withheld.

“That means easier and earlier access to their hard earned dollars,” Reed said.

When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, Reed said the tax credit received by individuals using the health care exchanges would not be repealed.

“What we do is we repeal the individual mandate penalty, which is a penalty for folks that maybe can’t afford insurance so they go without insurance or who choose not to get insurance, they would then not be subject to a penalty at the federal level,” Reed said.

Reed said the premium tax credits would still be accessible on the health care exchanges.

The new law would go into effect on Jan. 1 and would have an immediate impact on the withholding table and paychecks, according to Reed — others disagree. However, filing would not be impacted until filing for 2018 at the end of 2018.

Reed will hold his next town hall meeting on Saturday, Dec. 16, at Kennedy Volunteer Fire Station 1 in Kennedy at 9 a.m., at which time he is likely to discuss the tax reform bill.