This Oped first appeared in the Burlington County Times on June 3, 2018 written by the President of the Cinnaminson Republican Club, Roger Hare.
Tax Day -- the most miserable 24 hours of the year for many New Jerseyans -- recently passed. Next year's filing season will be far less painful thanks to the tax overhaul that Congress approved in December.
Quite simply, tax reform means American taxpayers at all income levels are paying less in taxes.
The tax cuts nearly double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. The six in 10 New Jersey residents who already take the standard deduction will receive a big tax break.
New Jerseyans who itemize their deductions will also receive tax cuts. The law reduced tax rates and doubled the child tax credit. Workers can already see the lower rates reflected in their paychecks.
The tax cuts -- particularly for businesses -- are fueling faster economic growth. As the benefits compound in the coming months, Garden State residents should remember to thank Rep. Tom MacArthur, the lone member of New Jersey's congressional delegation who voted for tax reform.
The law made momentous changes to the corporate tax code. It slashed corporations' tax rate from 35 percent -- the highest in the developed world -- to 21 percent.
Tax reform proponents promised the lower rates would encourage companies to go on an investment and expansion spree. They've been proven right. Kenilworth-based Merck already announced it will invest $8 billion in U.S. research and development and dish out bonuses to employees.
OceanFirst Financial Corp. in Toms River increased the base hourly wage for its customer service representatives from $13.60 to $15 an hour.
Large corporations such as UPS, Walmart, Pfizer, ExxonMobil, and American Express -- all with a strong New Jersey presence -- have pledged to increase investment in America.
Other countries have steadily lowered their tax rates in recent years. They lured away billions of dollars of investments that would otherwise have created jobs in the United States.
But now, the United States may be able to recover some of those losses. A United Nations report claims tax reform could incentivize American companies to bring up to $2 trillion in business investments back to our shores. Manufacturing giant Honeywell, headquartered in Morris Plains, is bringing $7 billion of its foreign cash stockpile back to America and increasing its 401(k) match for employees.
Small and mid-sized firms are also benefiting from the reform, which created a special 20 percent deduction for "pass-through" business income. Nearly all small businesses are organized as pass-throughs, which pay taxes through the individual code -- not the corporate code.
Support for the law is soaring. Fifty-one percent of Americans now approve of the reform, up from 37 percent in December. The reason for this dramatic rise in popularity is simple. Opponents of the law repeatedly claimed it would raise taxes on the middle-class. But now, people can see with their own eyes that their paychecks are larger.
New Jerseyans can thank Rep. MacArthur for their bonuses, raises, and lower tax bills. He faced down the naysayers and helped ensure greater prosperity for the vast majority of New Jersey households.