Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper: House Republican Tax Plan Hurts Cheatham, Davidson & Dickson Residents

Nov 15, 2017
Press Release
Details Still In Flux As Senate Compiles Separate Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today amplified his opposition to the House Republican tax plan, highlighting specific ways it would hurt Middle Tennesseans in Cheatham, Davidson and Dickson counties.

Rep. Cooper previously described the House Republican plan as a “real pain for Tennesseans” on Nov. 2, the day of its release. Several changes have been made since then. Today Rep. Cooper outlined new objections to the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which would add at least $1.4 trillion to America’s already unacceptable debt.

Details remain fluid as Republicans make last-minute changes, but the House is expected to vote on its tax plan tomorrow. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are working through their own version, which currently includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The House plan does not – for now – include the healthcare piece.

After passage in each chamber, the House and Senate must work out any differences between their bills and agree on a final bill before it can become law.

Based on 2014 tax data collected by the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, many residents of Rep. Cooper’s congressional district claim deductions and tax credits now at risk under the House Republican plan as currently written:

  • 94% of Middle Tennesseans filing a return claimed the personal exemption, which would be eliminated. This is currently worth $4,050 per family member and becomes more valuable as one’s family grows in size. If the House Republican plan becomes law, a family of four currently claiming $16,200 would lose that entire exemption. The personal exemption was worth more than $2.5 billion to Middle Tennesseans filing a return in 2014.
     
  • 39,000 Middle Tennessee students and families filing a return claimed the student loan interest deduction, which would be eliminated. Currently, eligible households can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest.
     
  • 21% of Middle Tennesseans filing a return claimed the earned income tax credit – and would not see that credit expanded.
     
  • More than 16,000 Middle Tennesseans filing a return claimed the medical expense deduction for an average deduction of $9,800. The deduction would be eliminated.
     
  • 22% of Middle Tennesseans filing a return claimed the state sales tax deduction for an average of $3,000. Seventy-nine percent of those Middle Tennesseans make less than $150,000. This deduction would be eliminated.

Additionally, according to 2016 data from the IRS, only 58 estates in the 5th Congressional District were subject to the estate tax, which would be repealed. The alternative minimum tax, which mostly hits Tennesseans making more than $200,000 per year, would also be repealed.

Other deductions would be impacted. For example, the mortgage interest deduction for homebuyers would be limited to $500,000, and the deduction for teachers to purchase classroom supplies would be eliminated. Meanwhile, officials at Tennessee universities have said the House Republican plan would hinder their ability to provide financial aid to students and finance research.

Under the GOP plan, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that 24% of Americans would see a tax increase of nearly $2,100 by 2027.

“President Trump pledged ‘a major, major’ tax cut for American workers,” Rep. Cooper said. “The reality is many Tennesseans will be hurt. We need tax reform that helps everyday Tennesseans.”