Senator Collins Secures Major Wins in Final Tax Reform Bill

Senator Collins secured multiple provisions that equal a tenth of the total tax cut to provide additional benefits for the middle class

Washington, D.C. - Following the release of the final text of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this afternoon, the first major overhaul of our nation’s tax code since 1986, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) applauded the inclusion of multiple amendments she championed that will help working and middle class families.

 

“Americans deserve a tax system that is fair, simple, and promotes economic growth,” said Senator Collins.  “I am pleased that the final tax reform bill includes all three of the amendments I authored, along with a number of provisions for which I strongly advocated, that will benefit lower- and middle-income families.”

 

In a significant victory for middle-income Americans, the legislation includes three amendments Senator Collins authored that will further reduce the tax burden on hardworking Americans, enhance retirement security, and help families who are struggling to afford high medical costs.  Specifically, her provisions will:

 

  • Allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 for state and local taxes.  This is especially important to Maine, which has the 13th highest state and local tax burden in the nation;   

 

  • Retain and reduce the income threshold for deducting medical expenses, which will help people with high medical costs, particularly seniors and people with chronic conditions.  Approximately 8.8 million Americans use this deduction, nearly half of whom have incomes of $50,000 or less; and

 

  • Reverse an ill-advised elimination of catch-up contributions to retirement accounts for church, charity, school, and public employees.  This provision will protect the ability of public employees, including firefighters, teachers, and police officers; clergy; and non-profit employees to save for retirement. 

 

Senator Collins also advocated for a number of additional improvements that were reflected in the final bill.  Those changes include:

 

  • Maintaining the deductibility of interest on student loans, as well as the tax exemption for employer-provided tuition assistance and for graduate student tuition waivers;

 

  • Striking a provision that would have increased taxes on small investors by dictating the order in which stocks could be sold;

 

  • Retaining the historic tax credit, a proven tool for revitalizing communities and catalyzing economic development in Maine and across the nation. Since 2008, this credit has leveraged approximately $350 million in private investment in our state alone; and

 

  • Preserving tax-exempt private activity bonds that help our hospitals and educational institutions.