Late last year, House Republicans made history by passing the first meaningful tax reform bill in a generation. I am grateful that families all across the Second Congressional District are already seeing the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
For individuals, the child tax credit has doubled, the mandate to buy health care or pay a penalty was removed, and the standard deduction increased to $12,000 for married couples. Small businesses saw their tax rates drop from 35% to 21%
Local success of the law was first heralded by Lou and Bill Kennedy of Nephron Pharmaceuticals of Cayce, who announced 125 new jobs and a five percent pay increase.
Since then, small businesses across the Second District are expanding and creating jobs.
Bill Mooneyhan, of Mooneyhan’s Auto Service in West Columbia, announced he is adding a new bay on to the shop and hiring additional employees. He was joined by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) State Director Ben Homeyer.
Solara Hospitality, led by CEO and President Clancy Cipkala in West Columbia, is providing bonuses for their hotel hourly associates. Norman Dunagan, owner of Whiskey Alley restaurant and Dumpster Depot in Aiken, announced they are expanding as well.
Nationally, Exxon Mobil is investing $50 billion in development as Apple, Aflac, UPS, Starbucks, Tyson Foods, and Walmart are announcing extraordinary expansions, bonuses, and job increases. In total, more than 270 companies have offered employee benefits as a direct result of tax reform, helping over three million American families.
With the leadership of President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Republicans we have not only passed historic tax reform for families, but an estimated 2.2 million new jobs have been created in the past year and unemployment is down to 4.1%, the lowest since 2000 with record low unemployment for African Americans and Latinos.
I am grateful that families all across the Second District are seeing their take home pay increase, as well as increased job opportunities, due to tax reform.
As a reminder, tax filing season is open, and people have until April 17th to file their 2017 returns.
Refunds will begin being issued starting mid-February for those tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Low and moderate-income taxpayers can get help filing their tax return for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. To find the site nearest you, you can call 800-906-9887.
If you would like to check on your refund, you can find that information at www.irs.gov/refunds