Local reactions to GOP tax plan are mixed

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Republicans on Capitol Hill are celebrating the signing of the new tax reform bill.

President Trump calls the new tax program a Christmas miracle for the middle class, but it's a promise that is still getting mixed reviews.

The Democrats say this major change to the tax code is designed to benefit corporations and the super wealthy, but Republicans say every American will save money under their new plan.

Even with the promise of saving some money, a CNN poll taken late last week revealed more than 55 percent of Americans were opposed to the new tax plan. Now that the plan is a reality, reactions are still mixed.

"I think it’s phenomenal. I think it’s good for America, good for American business," GOP tax plan supporter Roger Shafer said.

“I’m really not fond of it, I’m not a fan,” Donovan Minor said.

“I don't know, right now, it looks good, but it always looks good, I guess we're going to find out as we go,” Ryan Smith said.

Tax professionals say the impacts of this new tax plan will vary.

“One person might have very large tax benefit, another person might not have much at all, another person could end up owing more tax,” Certified Public Accountant Chuck Nelson said. “Overall the tax bill should benefit most of the tax payers in America.”

While the tax cuts should reach nearly all Americans, many are concerned about who will benefit most.

“I’m disappointed with it; I think it favors the super-rich and large corporations,” Mark Leemkuil said. “Most people recognize it’s meant to appease the super wealthy who donate to theses GOP congress people; it’s not going to do anything to benefit most people in America.”

“I think it’s going to do a lot of good for America, because the economy is going to grow,” Shafer said.

“They say if corporations get more tax breaks then maybe they'll hire other people, historically that hasn't happened,” the Valenti Family said.

“The tax break we see is not going to be as beneficial to us as it is to people who have more wealth or control,” Minor said.
“I’ve never seen a reaction like this, where people are actually going to get a tax cut, and they're not happy about it,” Nelson said.

Many believe that skeptical reaction is a reflection of the trust issues between Washington and the general public.

“I think there's a fair amount of negativity in America about the president,” Shafer said.

“That’s the thing about politics, people don't say what they mean,” Smith said.

“Initially they voted this in in the middle of the night…and there’s a lot of hidden things in there that could be more damaging to everyone who isn't a very wealthy person in this country,” Minor said.

“We'll see, we're optimistic, but it’s hard to optimistic in a Trump presidency, I have to be honest,” the Valenti family said.

With new legislation that is hundreds of pages long, Nelson says there are still quite a few implications yet to decipher. He also said any deduction to tax rates will end up giving those who pay more in taxes a bigger benefit.

While there is still much to learn about the impacts of this new tax plan, here are some big changes we do know:

--the corporate tax rate permanently slashed from more than 35 to 21 percent.
---tax rates and brackets for induvials were changed; those changes will expire after 8 years.
--the standard deduction and child tax credit doubled
---the new plan ends most itemized deductions (Nelson says teachers can still deduct $250 of personal classroom expenses and education and healthcare expense deductions will remain the same.)

Nelson says if you generally itemize deductions like property taxes or charitable donations, make sure to make all of those payments and donations now in 2017 to reap the biggest tax benefits over the next two years.