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Real Tax Reform

Middle-class families and small businesses are struggling in an economy that increasingly favors the wealthy and large corporations – especially through unfair tax burdens and special interest tax loopholes. Congress must reform our tax code to change that.

Unfortunately, the Republican “Tax Scam” cuts taxes on the richest Americans and big corporations, while it hurts the middle class. The early results from this rushed and partisan process are compounding the unfairness in our tax system. Any major tax change needs input from both parties to be fair and effective.

The Republican tax plan hits New Yorker families hard, removing deductions for state and local income taxes and limiting property tax and interest deductions. The cost of living in Suffolk County is already high, and this plan will only make it higher.

We cannot let this happen.

In addition, I oppose eliminating the estate tax on wealthy Americans with estates over $5 million, which as Warren Buffet points out, could lead to “dynasty-building.” The vast majority of the American public, including all middle class families, will see no benefit from this giveaway to the wealthy. Instead, we’ll be rewarded with higher deficits and increased national debt.

Here is what I support: The tax burden on the middle class needs to be lowered, but without the oversized cuts for the wealthy that are currently proposed. We also cannot allow the deductions, credits, and exemptions that help middle-class Americans to be eliminated. These incentives encourage and subsidize, among other things, education, healthcare, charity, adoption, home ownership, and care for family members. We can make the current system fairer by looking at abuses of the capital gains system that allow wealthy investors to pay a much lower tax rate on their income than most working class families. Eliminating the “carried interest” loophole will ensure that equal burdens of taxation fall on people who earn their income through work and labor, as opposed to simply through investing.

In terms of business tax reform, the first thing we need to do is close many of the loopholes, deductions, and special interest incentives that allow corporations to get away without paying their fair share. Once we do that, simplifying and making more transparent the corporate tax code, we can look at whether tax rates on businesses are where they need to be to help our economy thrive and businesses to be me more competitive. Regardless of what reforms are implemented, it is vital they should be bipartisan, and that they are revenue neutral. The goal should be to simplify the system, not to reduce the burden on corporate taxpayers at everyone else’s expense.

“It's time Long Island had a strong voice to fight for high-paying jobs, affordable health care, high-quality education and clean air and water.”Perry GershonCandidate for Congress, NY-1