As Trump strikes forward on tax regulation, People nonetheless don't prefer it

WASHINGTON — More than half of U.S. voters oppose the Republican tax plan that gutted the federal deduction for state and local taxes, according to a poll released on the same day that the Treasury Department told employers to prepare to withhold less from workers’ paychecks.

In the Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday, 52 percent of voters opposed the legislation signed into law by President Donald Trump before Christmas, with just 32 percent supporting the new law.

Almost two-thirds, 66 percent, said the measure would primarily benefit the wealthy, with 30 percent saying that the middle class or the poor would be the biggest beneficiaries.

In addition, a Gallup poll said 55 percent of Americans disapproved of the measure, with 33 percent backing it.

What companies will do with tax breaks

Even so, most American workers should start seeing bigger paychecks beginning next month as employers adjust how much in federal income taxes they are withholding from pay checks. They were told to do so by Feb. 15.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday that they were providing guidance to companies about the new tax law.

“With this guidance, most American workers will begin to see bigger paychecks,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “These tax cuts will ensure that American workers are able to keep more of their hard-earned income and decide how to spend, invest or save it.” 

Mnuchin estimated that 90 percent of wage earners will see their take-home pay rise.

Even so, the legislation is tilted in favor of corporations and wealthy Americans, with the richest 5 percent getting 43 percent of the benefits in 2018, more than the 36 percent going to the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers, according to the progressive Tax Policy Center.

The measure curtails the federal deduction for state and local income, property and sales taxes, capping it at $10,000. The provision disproportionately affects New Jersey and other high-tax states, most of which already send billions of dollars more to Washington than they receive in services.

New Jersey is one of only six states — all Democratic-leaning — whose share of federal income taxes will increase under the law, and the percentage of Garden State taxpayers facing a tax hike is greater than 48 other states, according to the progressive Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Even so, 81 percent of Garden State residents should pay less in taxes until the individual tax breaks expire in 2025, and Rep. Tom MacArthur, the only New Jersey lawmaker to support the bill, wants taxpayers to know that.

MacArthur, R-3rd Dist., introduced legislation Thursday requiring the IRS to allow taxpayers to calculate how much money they would save next year based on their 2017 income tax returns. The Transparency for Taxpayers Act calls for making the online tool available by April 1.

“Over the next year, Americans will seek to understand how the new tax law will…

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