Charlie Rangel Announces Opposition To Tax Reform Bill

Democratic New York Congressman Charles Rangel released a statement Wednesday announcing his opposition to the sweeping tax reform planintroduced earlier in the day by the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp. Along with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rangel is one of the first high-profile Democrats to explicitly come out against the bill, which Camp developed with former Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.

“As the only Member of the House Ways and Means Committee who was on the Committee in 1986, I know how difficult it is to produce a tax reform package that encourages economic growth while supporting working families, broadening the middle class, and addressing income inequality. The Republican tax reform proposal that was released today does not do this,” Rangel said in the statement.

“During the tax debate of the 1986 Tax Reform Bill, I told then Secretary James Baker, that I would support tax reform and help, only if State and Local tax deductions were not eliminated. While I will have additional comments after further study of the Republican Package, my position has not changed: I will not support a plan that eliminates State and Local Tax Deductions which would have a devastating impact on New Yorkers.”

Republicans have also been distancing themselves from the bill, which would substantially overhaul the nation’s tax code. Among other things, the bill would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to two — 25 per cent and 10 per cent. This would represent a reduction in the current top tax rate of 39.6 per cent that Democrats and Republicans agreed to in the fiscal cliff deal last year.

Rangel’s office provided several statistics they were provided New York Governor’s office along with the congressman’s statement to explain his opposition to the elimination of state and local tax deductions.

According to the information supplied by Rangel’s office, “eliminating the ability of New Yorkers to deduct their state and local tax liability would result in a nearly $US15 billion tax increase for New York families who claim the deduction, and average increase of more than $US4,500 per taxpayer ($5,900 average increase for NYC tax payers who claim the deduction).” Furthermore, Rangel’s office said the “average federal tax bill for affected taxpayers would increase 30 per cent,” an increase that would not be compensated for even with a reduced tax rate.

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