Trump, GOP outline proposal to lower, simplify taxes – The Baltimore Sun

By John Fritze

resident Donald Trump outlined a sweeping plan Wednesday to lower corporate taxes and simplify the rules for individual filers, the first step in what will be a contentious debate over a top White House priority.

With GOP hopes of repealing Obamacare once again dashed, the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers, eager for a legislative victory, promised to move quickly on what would be the farthest-reaching overhaul of the nation’s tax code since 1986.

Trump called on Congress to slash the corporate tax rate, reduce from seven to three the number of brackets for individuals and families, and nearly double the standard deduction claimed by the millions of Americans who do not itemize their returns.

But Trump left key details to be hashed out by lawmakers, and Democrats swiftly criticized the measure.

Analysts cautioned that the proposal could harm high-income states like Maryland, where filers are more likely to claim certain itemized deductions. And they warned that some of Trump’s ideas could wind up reducing state revenue at a time when Maryland officials are already preparing for shortfalls.

Trump also proposed eliminating the estate tax, which is paid by people who receive large inheritances. Maryland lawmakers reduced the scope of the state’s estate tax in 2014, but what remains could be further undercut if Washington eliminates the federal tax.

Benjamin Orr, executive director of the Maryland Center on Economic Policy, said Maryland collected $207 million from the tax in 2016. That’s enough, the group has noted, to pay for the state’s behavioral health programs, including inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment.

Orr said Trump’s proposal “heavily favors the wealthy and corporations.”

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