Costa Statement on Passage of the House Tax Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“Our tax code is inefficient, too complicated, and filled with too many gimmicks and loopholes. For years I have called for fiscally-responsible comprehensive tax reform that makes the American tax system fairer and simpler while incentivizing intelligent pro-growth investment in our economy. Although the tax bill the House passed today does make changes to our tax code, these changes do not meet the test for the real, balanced reform Americans need.
“If enacted, I believe the bill will have unintended negative consequences that will be felt across the country and in our San Joaquin Valley. Under this legislation, well over half of the people in my district will pay more in taxes when certain provisions for individuals expire in 2027, and important tax benefits critical for agriculture and education in our Valley will be eliminated immediately. The House bill would also partially eliminate the State and Local Tax Deduction, which saved money for over 133,000 families in Fresno, Merced, and Madera counties in 2015. The New Markets Tax Credit – an economic incentive that has created over 2,700 jobs in my district and brought $69.5 million in investments to Fresno and Merced – would also be eliminated under the legislation.
“What’s more, this legislation would add over $2 trillion to our national debt over the next ten years. Today, America’s debt is over $20 trillion, the largest it’s been in our country’s history. Increasing our debt will slow wage growth, hamper further economic development, and lead to fewer jobs and higher interest rates over time. It is irresponsible and immoral to saddle future generations with our debt because Congress is failing to work together to make the tough choices necessary to put our fiscal house in order.
“Although there are some provisions in the bill that would provide tax relief in many areas, I have to consider both the pluses and minuses, just as I do with all legislation. Overall, the bill the House passed today is not good for our Valley, our nation, or our future generations. We need fiscally-responsible comprehensive tax reform that incentivizes investments in our economy and serves the economic interests of all Americans. Sadly, this legislation fails to meet that test.
“I want to make bipartisan tax reform happen, and I’ve demonstrated that for years. My hope is that, when this legislation comes back to the House in a different form, my Republican colleagues will include those of us who want to see bipartisan tax reform happen in a real way. History shows that, when Congress works together in a bipartisan process, we can successfully reform our broken tax code in a responsible way. This is the type of leadership and good governance Americans want. The people of the Valley, and all Americans, deserve a better process and a better result.”