Huizenga Op-Ed: Tax Reform Is Working For West Michigan
Tax Reform Is Working For West Michigan
The Zeeland Record
Congressman Bill Huizenga
May 17, 2018
It's been nearly six months since Republicans in Congress overhauled our nation's tax code for the first time in 30 years. Since December, we have seen job creators of all sizes around the country, including right here in West Michigan, respond positively by raising wages, issuing bonuses, and expanding benefit packages for their employees.
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Tyson's Plant just outside of town. As a kid, I remember going there when it was the old Bil-Mar facility.
During my tour, I learned that nearly 900 employees at the facility received $1,000 bonuses as a direct result of the tax reform legislation signed into law by President Trump. Also as a direct result of the new tax bill, Tyson is going to invest significant resources in the Zeeland Plant, making it even more environmentally friendly, and opening a new production line that will create 65 new jobs! This is wonderful news for Zeeland and the surrounding communities, and it isn’t the only local example.
Earlier this year, SpartanNash, headquartered in Byron Center, announced that because of tax reform, it was raising wages and issuing bonuses for employees, including those working at all of the Family Fare, D&W, and SpartanNash stores across West Michigan. The positive news for employees at larger companies is also being echoed by small business owners as well. Small businesses in Hudsonville, Grandville, Wyoming, and communities across West Michigan have also raised wages and given bonuses to employees while re-investing in their businesses and creating new good-paying jobs. In fact, taxes on small businesses will be the lowest they have been in a generation.
While tax reform is strengthening our economy and increasing paychecks, it’s also starting to deliver real results for hardworking middle income families across Ottawa County.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowers tax rates across the board. This means the next time you file your taxes, more of your money stays in your pocket. Under the new tax law, the standard deduction will nearly double to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for joint-filers, protecting more of your dollars from Washington. Raising a family is expensive, which is why the new law also doubles the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000. The new tax code also preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as well as the Adoption Tax Credit.
West Michigan is known around the nation as a community that opens its doors to children in search of a forever home. I fought to preserve the Adoption Tax Credit because I believe the federal government should try to minimize financial barriers to adoption and help loving families connect with children in need of one.
Additionally, the new tax law improves the ability of West Michigan families to save for their children’s education by expanding 529 accounts to include the cost of elementary and secondary schools as well as the cost of higher education at a trade school, community college, or university. This forward thinking approach will help West Michigan families plan for their children’s future and success.
When all is said and done, under the new law, it is estimated that a single parent in West Michigan who makes $41,000 will see his or her federal tax bill cut by 70%. For a family of four where one spouse is making $40,000 and the other makes $33,000 a year, they will see their federal tax bill cut by over 50% which works out to a tax cut of approximately $2,000. Some in Washington refer to those as "crumbs," but here in West Michigan we recognize the value of hard work and understand that these are significant savings.
Tax reform has already begun to help families here in Ottawa County climb the ladder of opportunity. By boosting job creation, increasing take home pay, and cutting tax rates, this legislation is creating greater financial security for hardworking families across West Michigan. Moving forward, it is my goal to build on the success of tax reform by continuing to promote policies that empower taxpayers, strengthen our economy, and provide more opportunity for West Michigan to succeed.