Blumenthal and Esty express concerns with proposed tax plan - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Blumenthal and Esty express concerns with proposed tax plan

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal comments on the tax plan. (WFSB) U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal comments on the tax plan. (WFSB)

Two members of the Connecticut Congressional Delegation are speaking out against the proposed tax plan from the Trump administration.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) said they’re against the plan, which is not surprising, because of their party affiliation.

Blumenthal and Esty said it’ll result in higher taxes on the middle class while lowering them for the rich. But this plan isn’t getting a lot of support from Republicans either.

“If you earn less than 75,000, you will see a tax increase,” Blumenthal said.

“I think it’s wrong for Connecticut, wrong for middle-class families and wrong for things we care about, like education,” Esty said.

Those are the fears our lawmakers have about the Republican tax plan that’s being debated on Capitol Hill. Middle-class locals have doubts about the plans when it comes to education.

“It will definitely impact student learning,” Waterbury teacher Jahana Hayes said.

Hayes is a teacher at Waterbury’s JFK High. She was awarded teacher of the year in 2016 and already spends money out of her own pocket on school supplies. Hayes said she doesn’t want to see her taxes raised. 

“You get an order at the beginning of the school year,” Hayes said. “By December, generally, most teachers are using paper or pencils that they’ve purchased.”

Right now, teachers can deduct $250 from their taxable incomes for items they buy out of pocket. The House GOP tax plan eliminates that entirely, while the Senate GOP plan doubles it to $500. Overall, both Republican plans tout lower taxes. It’s expected to slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% while reducing personal taxes, but Democrats said they don’t buy it.

“The corporate tax cuts are permanent and the individual tax cuts expire,” Blumenthal said.

The Congressional Budget Office also says deficits will grow by 1.5 trillion dollars over 10 years. And while it’s no surprise Democrats have concerns, some Republicans have publicly expressed skepticism.

A Quinnipiac survey also found that 52 percent of the 1,600 polled oppose the plan and just 60 percent of Republicans supported it. Only 16 percent of those surveyed said they believe the plan would actually reduce their taxes. Hayes, who identifies as middle class, said she can’t afford to pay more.

“Many of the teachers I know will continue to provide for students and buy instructional materials and use their own money,” Hayes said. “But, it sends a mixed message when our legislators and our policymakers aren’t valuing what teachers are doing. “

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