Fulfilling our promise of a fair and simple tax code is a top priority in Congress.
For decades, tax season has brought unnecessary stress and anxiety on families across our state and nation. People are spending over six billion hours and $168 billion annually to file their returns with a total of 90 percent of taxpayers being forced to hire a tax professional.
On Nov. 16, we supported and passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the House, while the Senate passed its version on Dec. 2. For the first time in more than three decades, Congress voted to move forward with tax-reform legislation. This crucial reform would jump-start the economy, give hardworking families a break, and make the United States more competitive worldwide.
Now, both chambers are in a conference committee--a place where selected members of both bodies meet to reconcile the differences between their respective tax reform bills. The goal of the conference is to agree on a final tax proposal that reforms America's out-of-date tax code, lowers and simplifies taxes for working families, and boosts economic growth--all of which lead to more jobs and higher wages here in Arkansas.
As your representatives, our objective is to keep key provisions in the final bill that allow families and individuals to invest in themselves. We believe Arkansans know how best to spend their hard-earned dollars, not Washington.
Our goal is to see lower individual tax rates, an increase to the standard deduction, and the elimination of Washington-generated loopholes. With nearly 77 percent of Arkansans taking the standard deduction, doubling the amount would put more money in the pockets of citizens across the Natural State.
We are hopeful key provisions in the House bill will be included in the final version. For example, our bill would allow a typical Arkansas family to keep an additional $2,020 of their income. According to the Tax Foundation, it would also create 8,277 new full-time jobs across the state.
In addition, we want to ensure an increase in the child tax credit--from $1,000 to $1,600--a boost that would help most working families.
For entrepreneurs, we would like to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax and keep small-business tax rates under 25 percent--which would be the lowest rate since World War II. This would be a significant reduction from today, and would help job creators expand their businesses.
By lowering our corporate tax rates and ending double taxation on foreign earnings of American businesses, we would incentivize businesses and investments to return home, bringing more jobs with them.
Reforming the nation's tax code provides better opportunities for people to succeed and live the American dream. Our ultimate goal is to grow the economy, simplify the tax code, and ease the financial burden on families.
This is our chance to make it easier for people across our state to navigate our tax system and provide them with significant relief.
We look forward to reviewing the text of the final bill and delivering the historic tax reform that Arkansas families need and deserve.