BRISTOL - U.S. Rep. John Larson gave residents an opportunity to sound off Wednesday night about the GOP tax bill that recently passed Congress.
The Democrat representing the First District of Connecticut, which encompasses Bristol, kicked off the public forum at the Bristol Senior Center with a brief history on tax reform from previous presidents. The forum is part of a series he is holding around his district.
With current mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu and former mayor Art Ward in attendance on Wednesday, Larson then discussed who the winners and losers are of the current $1.5 trillion national tax overhaul that passed Congress on Dec. 20.
“There are some people who are going to get a tax break from this...but for 41 percent of people in the state of Connecticut, 750,000 people itemize deductions, maybe not so,” said Larson.
The main winners of the new plan are corporations, who get a permanent tax rate reduction that goes from 35 to 21 percent, according to Larson.
The losers are the middle class who will get hit by a $10,000 cap on property, sales and income tax deductions. The average deduction in the state is worth $19,664 according to Larson. An individual’s increased tax credits also expire in 2025.
Following the presentation, residents were given an opportunity to speak, paving the way for some verbal exchanges.
“It’s not fiscally responsible,” said Mahrang Danish, a Bristol resident who is studying tax and economic policy. Danish cited the reduction of corporate taxes, but no mandates or incentives for workers’ development through education or technology. This would allow investors to better line their pockets with cash.
Danish also cited the reduction for claiming children as a deduction may be going up, but the income earned tax credit is going down as an issue. She added the fact that definitions of families are changing with friends helping parents raise kids, but tax relief for supplementing that help isn’t as flexible.
“Families in America are changing,” said Danish. “Caretakers are going to suffer because you can’t count on them as a tax credit,” she added after explaining her brother needs help from the opioid crisis.
At the conclusion of the discussion, Larson thanked everyone for coming and providing the conversation.
“This is what democracy is all about,” he said.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.