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Nelson Slams Tax Bill's Unequal Benefits For Puerto Ricans

Dec 21, 2017
Originally published on December 20, 2017 6:43 pm

Florida’s U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is slamming the Republican tax bill. Both houses of Congress passed the measure Wednesday on largely party line votes. Nelson says the package benefits corporations more than working people. 

“A trillion and a half dollars are borrowed in order to finance a huge tax cut for multinational corporations to send American jobs overseas. That ought to be enough," Nelson said. And it ought to be enough that there are just crumbs for the hardworking middle-class families."

Under the bill, corporations will see a permanent cut, while individuals will get temporary tax cuts. The tax burden will be lowered on pass through businesses, like those maintained by the Trump Corporation, and fewer multi-millionaires will have to pay taxes on inheritances. The bill also repeals the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act. That could mean 13 million fewer people with healthcare over ten years.

Nelson is also criticizing the measure for not extending the same benefits to Puerto Ricans as to other mainland families. Not included in the measure was a plan to expand the child tax credit for Puerto Ricans. Mainland families will be able to deduct $2,000 per child. But that amount is graduated based on federal taxes paid, and that means a smaller deduction for lower income people. Residents of the island territory with fewer than three children will also miss out on the full deduction. Nelson says Puerto Ricans should get the same benefits as any other citizens.

“That increase to help poor working families with children was not given to Puerto Rico! That doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Puerto Rico’s tax code means only certain residents qualify for the credit. But after a crippling economic collapse and the utter destruction of Hurricane Maria, Nelson says Puerto Ricans need a tax break as much as anyone.

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