Congressman Chris Smith Votes ‘No’ on Tax Reform Legislation

Congressman Chris Smith

Congressman Chris Smith issued the following statement explaining his vote against the Tax Reform Legislation which passed the House of Represented and U.S. Senate on Tuesday:

Today I voted “no” on H.R. 1 because while I believe that Americans are overtaxed and need relief, this bill would not provide that relief for New Jersey residents; it would, in fact, be detrimental for many of them.

The bill rolls back or even eliminates certain itemized deductions, and almost half—47%—of the taxpayers in my district itemize, claiming an average of $31,981 in deductions. These deductions are used by many New Jersey taxpayers, and thus their modification or elimination is seriously problematic for me.

Foremost among these changes that I opposed was the partial elimination of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for income, sales, and property taxes, capping this deduction from federal taxes at $10,000. New Jersey has one of the highest rates of tax filers using the SALT deduction, with over four in ten taxpayers (42%) using it; the average SALT deduction in my district is $18,355. Many New Jersey taxpayers, including homeowners who pay some of the highest property tax rates of any state, could see their taxes go up.

New Jersey residents already pay one of the highest tax rates per household to the federal government, but see one of the lowest returns on federal spending of any state. We need tax relief, but we must have relief that is not comparatively unfair to the taxpayers of New Jersey.

Posted: December 20th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Congressman Chris Smith Votes ‘No’ on Tax Reform Legislation”

  1. Maybe time for a real primary said at 10:09 am on December 20th, 2017:

    Seems like this seat is due for an honest primary challenge against Chris Smith; he’s been in DC too long and not doing a good job.

    First was the inexcusable vote against National Reciprocity/Right To Carry, now it’s a vote against tax reform.

    If Smith is worried about the high taxes the people of NJ pay, then his energy should be focused on convincing his Democrat counterparts in Trenton and the new/incoming administration to lower NJ state taxes in line with the lowered Federal taxes, not voting to protect unreasonably high taxes all around.

    … plus a good primary would bring more traffic to MMM!

  2. Mike Harmon said at 10:37 am on December 20th, 2017:

    1. “Today I voted “no” on H.R. 1 because while I believe that Americans are overtaxed and need relief, this bill would not provide that relief for New Jersey residents; it would, in fact, be detrimental for many of them”

    Nonsense. The young people and working families need this tax break. If house values come down a bit they will be more affordable. Many of the itemizers and AMT filers will be just fine. What about the corporations fleeing NJ or selling out (Pfizer, Verizon, Merck, Mercedes, Chubb). This reform might help stem the tide. Smith is making “perfect the enemy of the good”. Smith will regret voting NO on a once in a lifetime tax reform. Had he lost an election over it, it is a good hill to die on.

    2. New Jersey residents already pay one of the highest tax rates per household to the federal government, but see one of the lowest returns on federal spending of any state. We need tax relief, but we must have relief that is not comparatively unfair to the taxpayers of New Jersey.

    See #1. Being a donor state is the fault of our weak congressional delegation. Our D delegation is either taken for granted or ignored when a democrat is in the White House, and today with a Republican in the White House our delegation spends more time bashing Trump and the policies which will reverse the madness. Perhaps our pols should study the career of Jim Howard.

    By the way, Congressman Smith, there are two carriers left in NJ who write health insurance for small businesses, Horizon BCBS and Qualcare.

  3. Tom Stokes said at 2:09 pm on December 20th, 2017:

    @Mike Harmon – answer me this – how will this help Senior Citizens who itemize on their 1040? We have lost the personal exemption and the senior citizen personal exemption, and we have a limited SALT deduction.

    The personal exemptions were given away to those who don’t itemize on their 1040.

    NJ taxpayers throw their money to states like Alabama and Mississippi, as we are a “donor” state.

    In general, I agree this might have been a “good” bill if it were not for the loss of the personal exemptions, senior exemptions and the limitations on SALT deductions. In states like NJ, GOP congressmen who supported this bill might face the wrath of Seniors who now face higher federal taxes, rather than lower federal taxes. Yes, Seniors DO VOTE!

    Right now, I will support Chris Smith, as he stood with my family and others, against the harm that will be done to seniors. I will also support Chris Smith as he has stood firmly for pro-life beliefs; which is even more important in this day and age!

    I urge Congress to revist this law and to amend those portions that will hurt Seniors in high tax states like NJ.

    The national government also needs to revisit how it spends and gives away our tax dollars; each state should spend their own taxes for their residents, not live off another state’s residents taxes. Income redistribution like this can only be called one name – socialism. Works well for Venezuela, hasn’t it?

  4. Mike Harmon said at 7:16 pm on December 20th, 2017:

    Tom. I do not live in Chris Smith’s district but do support his pro-life work. Regarding the senior citizen personal exemption, I am not up on it but will look into it. I am a CPA but my work is almost all forensic. My wife Andrea is also a CPA who specializes in taxes and has been running “what if” numbers for weeks particularly on AMTs. She was leaning your way you are regarding NJ residents up until recent days. Very concerned about FIFO cap gains on stocks which worked out.
    Regarding SALT, NJ has a problem that must be dealt with. As I have written in this space, there are 550,000 public employees in NJ, 565 towns, 599+ school boards, countless commissions, authorities and fire districst all for 9 million people. We need efficiency and consolidation.
    Regarding the DONOR state status, this is the fault of our congressional delegation on both sides. The dems are taken for granted or ignored when they controlled the executive and legislative branch. Same with the Rs.
    While I appreciate your support of Congressman Smith, I think NJ and her citizens MAY have been better if he stood with the Administration. NJ needs so much infrastructure work and help with criminal gangs and of course our health insurance has collapsed for small business.
    Merry Christmas Tom!

  5. Tom Stokes said at 7:59 pm on December 20th, 2017:

    @Mike Harmon – No question about the need for more efficiency in how we run government – we do need a county wide system for schools and eliminate the bloated bureaucracies; one business office for the entire county, one legal firm to handle legal problems and union negotiations etc; ditto perhaps for a county wide system of policing to again restore efficiency and cost effectiveness. I too have written about consolidation on this Blog.

    I believe this bill will help small businesses but will hurt senior taxpayers who itemize on their 1040. It will help younger people, but seniors have already paid the piper to educate their children are now facing higher taxes to allow others to receive a higher tax exemption with a standard deduction of $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly.

    Those who itemize lost a minimum of $8,100 deduction for personal exemption (married couple) and are now limited to only $10,000 in state/local taxes. And seniors normally do not receive any child tax credit – that goes only to younger families.

    Everything depends on who is getting the benefits or getting the shaft. The only possible benefit for seniors who itemize will be in their medical deductions, which now must reach a threshhold of 7.5% of AGI instead of 10%.

    The only future benefit might be for high tax states to reassess how they collect taxes and spend our money and for the national government to stop fleecing some states and their taxpayers while giving it away to other states.

    I blame certain GOP congressmen from states who receive “welfare” from the “donor” states – they have probably ruined GOP chances in states like NJ and NY unless this law can be amended in the future. Those same GOP congressmen wanted to “stick it” to the Northeastern states for the liberalism running amok in some areas of those states.

    I respectfully disagree that Congressman Smith should have voted to approve this bill as we do need to show support for our senior citizens. It should prevent those seats from switching to D and bringing even more liberal devastation into our national economy.

    Hope you and your family will have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed, Healthy and Happy New Year!

  6. Maybe said at 7:36 am on December 21st, 2017:

    it is time for some forced consolidation of too many tiny, autonomous entities, all over the state. We will never get a handle on all the duplication of service and spending, if we don’t put aside our precious “home rule,” and reduce the number of fiefdoms that are costing us so much.

    As for infrastructure, I hope we will demand an accurate of accounting of just how much they have already collected from the outrageous 23 cents extra per gallon of gas they whacked us with: I want to know how much is in so far, and exactly what roads, bridges, and other state infrastructure has actually been repaired: hell, if I could just see every guardrail and overpass scraped, straightened/ replaced, and painted, it would be a start! Every dime cannot keep going toward hiring even more ( mostly Democrat patronage) people!