People’s column

Reed disappoints on tax reform


Shortly after voting yes on a tax bill that could add $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed held a town hall meeting in Horseheads which I attended.

In response to tough questions and obvious anguish and fear of the bill’s impact, Reed showed only scenarios involving families who take the increased standard deduction. According to the IRS, more than one-third of middle class families in the 23rd district itemize their federal tax returns. The proposed elimination of many itemized deductions, especially medical expenses and state/local income taxes, will severely impact New York families.

I cringed when Reed deflected concerns of a graduate student about changes to deductions for education. The student loan interest deduction and Life-Time Learner credit are eliminated. Employer-provided tuition assistance, reduced tuition for employees family members and waived tuition for graduate students would be considered taxable income resulting in higher taxes. Higher education would be less accessible and affordable.

Reed glossed over that much of the relief for individuals is temporary and will be phased out over the next 10 years. Yet the cut to the corporate tax rate is permanent.

As an IRS registered tax preparer, I know that tax policy is complicated. However, it seems that Reed does not want us to be informed on the effects for New York families. Hopefully Reed will take an honest look at the revised bill and vote no if it is not good for his constituents.