Rep. Kelly explains her ‘no’ vote on proposed tax reform plan

Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., cast a ‘no’ vote Thursday, Nov. 16, on the Republican-sponsored tax reform plan. She said the measure will hike taxes on the middle class, automatically cut $15 million from Medicare and add $1.5 trillion to the deficit.

Kelly represents Homewood and Flossmoor in Congress. 

The following is her statement after she cast her vote, slightly edited:

For years, I’ve been privileged to serve with my Republican colleagues from Illinois in the General Assembly or in Congress. I have always tried to work with them to advance common sense legislation that supports Illinois families and businesses.

However, I believe that every Illinois family who sees their taxes go up deserves to know exactly who is responsible: their Republican representatives in Congress.

This so-called ‘tax reform’ bill will raise taxes on an estimated 854,000 middle and working class Illinoisans. Nationwide, 36 million middle class households will see a tax hike and one in four Americans will be paying an additional $2,000-plus in taxes.

Hurting Already Heavily-Taxed Illinoisans

Nearly 2 million Illinoisans use the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and deduct more than $25.5 million. Under the GOP’s new tax plan, Illinoisans’ ability to deduct their state and local taxes will be capped at $10,000, well below the amount traditionally deducted by the majority of Illinoisans. In fact, just one-third of the state’s Congressional districts have SALT deduction averages below $10,000, meaning Illinoisans will face double tax thanks to Illinois’ Congressional Republicans.

Hurting Illinois Homeowners

More than 1.4 million Illinois homeowners use the mortgage interest deduction, keeping more than $11 million in the homeowners’ bank accounts. However, under GOP ‘tax reform,’ this deduction is eliminated. Thanks to the votes of Illinois’ Republican congressmen, more than 1.4 million Illinoisan homeowners will see a tax hike.

National media has cited the devastating impact that eliminating this deduction will have on some Illinois communities. 

Hurting Illinoisans with Student Loans:

More than 530,000 Illinoisans use the student loan deduction and the average deduction is more than $1,100. Using those averages, that’s more than $5 million that formally remained in the Illinois economy every year but will now go to Washington. Thanks to the votes of my Republican colleagues from Illinois, families working hard to pay off their student loan debt are going to have to work much harder to make less headway.

Hurting Illinois’ Teachers:

Far too often, Illinois teachers are forced to dip into their own pockets to purchase school supplies that students need. Thanks to the votes of my Republican colleagues from Illinois, our teachers will no longer be able to write off the supplies they purchase for Illinois’ young people.

In 2015, more than 150,000 Illinois teachers used this deduction, saving a cumulative average of nearly $40 million.

Adding More Debt for Illinois Families

The National Debt already totals more than $20 trillion and this tax scam adds an additional $1.5 trillion to the deficit, that’s more than $4,600 added to each Illinoisans’ share of our National Debt — a debt that our children and grandchildren will be left to pay.


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