Think tank: Trump tax plan would benefit wealthiest in W.Va

By JESS MANCINI

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — An analysis shows President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan will give over 61 percent of the total tax cut in West Virginia to the richest 1 percent, a think tank said on Thursday.

The top 1 percent in West Virginia would receive an average tax cut of $51,600 compared to an average tax cut of $240 for the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers in the state, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

The agency cited the analysis released Thursday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which said the plan would lose $4.8 trillion in federal revenue in the next 10 years.

“All too often, federal and state policy makers talk about tax cuts as though they don’t have consequences,” said Ted Boettner, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy.

“But the truth is, these tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy would come with a heavy dose of cuts to vital program and services,” he said. “Reducing investments in health care, education, food assistance, disability insurance and other programs is too steep a price to pay just so the very rich can get a tax cut that is equal to three times more than the household income of ordinary working families.”

The bottom line is the wealthiest West Virginians and in other states will benefit the most, the institute said.

“Whether you look at the national or state-level data, it’s clear that this tax plan is not intended to benefit middle-income Americans,” said Alan Essig, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. “It’s a tax cut plan that will primarily make the rich richer.”

The bottom 60 percent of taxpayers would receive 10 percent of the cut, he said.

In West Virginia the richest 1 percent with an average income of $791,400 would receive 37.4 percent of the cuts, the institute said. The middle fifth of taxpayers in terms of income in West Virginia have an average income of $41,200, but would receive 7.2 percent of the tax cuts next year.

In Ohio, the richest 1 percent of taxpayers will make an average $1,485,800 and receive 47.2 percent of the tax cuts in 2018. They would receive an average cut of $87,490, the institute said.

The bottom 60 percent in Ohio making less than $58,900 in 2018 would see an average tax cut of $360, the institute said.

The tax plan was proposed in April. It would lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, cut the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and repeal the estate tax, among other areas.

“When it comes to your businesses, our tax plan is going to put American companies, including our retailers, back on a path to jobs and growth and better competitiveness,” Vice President Mike Pence this week told the National Retail Federation.

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