Over the last year many of us, especially from the Texas Congressional delegation, have been pushing to make permanent the state and local sales tax deduction. We were successful in having a temporary solution signed into law in December to prevent a tax increase on Texans, but that was only a short-term fix.
In Texas, and several other states, since we don’t have a state income tax, we have been able to deduct state and local sales taxes when filing our federal income tax returns. This has provided some parity with other states who can deduct their state and local income taxes when filing their returns. However, the deduction is currently not permanent and that has provided a lot of uncertainty to millions of Texas taxpayers who are concerned about whether or not their taxes could go up in the future.
In January, my colleague from Texas, Congressman Kevin Brady, who serves on the Ways and Means committee, which is the tax writing committee in the House, introduced the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act, H.R. 622. This bill, which I am an original co-sponsor, would make permanent the state and local sales tax deduction. Earlier today, this bill passed the House with bipartisan support. I am hopeful the Senate will take action on this bill soon, so that it can be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law without further delay.
Additionally, this week, the House passed The Death Tax Repeal Act, also known as the estate tax. This is a 40 percent tax on an individual’s transfer of their assets to the next generation at the time of their death. This tax particularly hurts small businesses and family farms, which are passed from generation to generation to keep the businesses within the family. Also we passed several bills focused on preventing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from targeting individuals again like they have done in the past with conservative organizations.
Member of Congress
P.S. I was honored to be recognized last week by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for my efforts to combat illegal poaching and stop wildlife trafficking, specifically rhinos and elephants for their horns and tusks. These crimes have almost wiped out two of the most unique species we have on the plant. At the Fort Worth Zoo, we are fortunate to have on exhibit a Black Rhino and Asian Elephant, both of which are on the endangered species list. To read my op-ed in the Star-Telegram from last week, click here.