Newhouse weighs in on local effect of Senate tax reform bill - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Newhouse weighs in on local effect of Senate tax reform bill

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RICHLAND, WA - The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the tax reform bill in the coming days...a bill largely similar to its counterpart in the House.

We spoke with Representative Dan Newhouse to see how it would affect people here in Washington, and he says he thinks there's a lot of good in the tax reform bill for the middle class in central and eastern Washington. The reason, he says, lies in one specific change to the standard deduction.

Although the House passed its version of the tax reform bill before a Congressional budget office score was even released, Representative Newhouse says he's confident that middle class income earners in the Columbia Basin will benefit from the bill.

"We're actually doubling the standard deduction, so a married couple that now can deduct up to 12,000 dollars, that's doubling to 24,000 dollars," said Rep. Newhouse.

The bill gets rid of personal exemptions, but Rep. Newhouse says doubling the standard deduction will help people here because most people here utilize it.

"I think that that's going to translate, especially in central Washington where already in my district, in the fourth district, 80 percent of income tax filers use the standard deduction. By doubling it, I think we're going to see real growth in that."

He also says that as soon as the Senate gets its version of the bill finished, the two sides will hammer out the differences between the two.

The Senate bill has received a CBO score indicating in that version of the bill that people making less than $40,000 will, as a whole, be worse off by 2021, and people making less than $75,000 a year will be worse off by 2027.

The reason for it, according to the CBO, is because the bill eliminates the health insurance mandate, so premiums would increase to make up for it...leading to people losing their health insurance.

But Rep. Newhouse says the people of the Columbia Basin should look forward to the tax reform bill.

"There's a lot of benefits that we'll see, allow people to keep more of their hard earned money."

Rep. Newhouse says he hopes the Senate can vote this week so both sides can come together in a conference setting to iron out the differences between the two bills.

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