I had a great conversation with Congressman Tom MacArthur on Wednesday about the latest proposal to provide middle class tax relief. For the first time in a long time, there's an actual bill being considered that will reduce the tax burden on most Americans.

According to the Congressman's office in New Jersey, the number of taxpayers experiencing relief will be as high as 92 percent. It's true that some of the outdated deductions that have allowed states like ours to keep real estate taxes higher than just about everyone else in the US. It's also true that in one version of the bill, some independent contractors will lose deductions that have helped them keep their taxes in check. It's also true that the Senate version eliminates the deduction for real estate taxes altogether. So then how will 9 in 10 New Jersey taxpayers see relief? Simple. Lower rates, doubling of the standard deduction and new deductions to offset the old ones. 

Given that Washington never gets anything done without a fair amount of battle back and forth, it's likely that the compromise will include Tom MacArthur's version of a real estate tax deduction of up to $10,000. Best part there is the average NJ homeowner is paying $8,400 in taxes. I went through the bill and found so many changes that will accomplish the goal of generating appropriate revenue for the federal government and provide critical relief to working and middle class families.

Some of the highlights include a ZERO percent rate for the first $24,000 of income, plus the standard deduction doubling to $24,000. That alone is going to increase the refund check for most working families. Then there's the addition of dependent exemptions beyond children and an increase in the child tax credit. But perhaps the next part is that the higher rates will be reserved for those making more than a million dollars of income. The alternative minimum tax, which essentially wipes out current deductions if you meet the criteria, will be repealed. Many falsely think this is a "tax on the rich," but did you know it kicks in at $53,000?

So if you're not making a million bucks a year right now, you're tax burden is going to go down. Sorry Governor-Elect Phil Murphy, you're probably going to pay just a bit more. What's funny is that in New Jersey, the state income tax deduction is limited to $10,000 and the new governor has promised a "millionaires" tax. Democrats are tripping over themselves to get it passed. But since Trump is the President, Democrats, and a few weak Republicans, in New Jersey have decided to oppose the single biggest tax reform to help local working families in more than 40 years.

Listen to what Congressman MacArthur had to say about the bill and then read it for yourself.

One more important point, the special interest position always defaults to talking about the deficit anytime they panic over the potential of lower taxes for the rest of us. Don't believe it! Even under the Bush tax cuts in 2003, government revenue went up.

Don't let the propaganda from the special interest shills scare you into opposing this reform package. You deserve to get a break. More money back to you. Less owed to the IRS every year. Rewarded for your hard work while the wealthy special interests pick up more of the tab. It's time.

Call Congressman Leonard Lance (908) 518-7733 and tell him to support the bill

Call Congressman Chris Smith (732) 780-3035 and tell him to support the bill.

These are two Republicans that could make a difference if you are going to have tax relief when you file in April. Hold them accountable. I'd say call the Democrats in Congress as well, but there's no way they will cross the line to stand up for tax paying constituents. They're going to try to ride out the first term of Donald Trump to re-election in the 2018 midterms. No way they want to upset the special interest donors!

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.

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