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Tax plan: This isn't us; we must do better

To the editor,

Our challenge is to figure out if we are winners or losers with the proposed tax plan. It appears many in the middle class are the losers.

Under the proposed plan: If you are a corporation you can deduct property taxes, but if you are an individual your ability to deduct local property taxes is eliminated. If you are a corporation and you close one of your locations and move operations, you can deduct those moving expenses. But the employee who worked at that location cannot deduct their moving expenses when they move to a new job. The top tax rate for corporations is reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of working and middle-class families in North Dakota will likely pay higher taxes.

The estate tax is currently paid on estates over $5.5 million. Some argue that raising this threshold will benefit North Dakota farmers. But fewer than 10 North Dakota estates were required to pay this tax last year. So, if the threshold is increased to $11 million ($22 million for couples), do our North Dakota families and agricultural economy really stand to benefit?

If you make student loan payments you will no longer be able to deduct your interest. If you are a graduate student, you will now pay taxes on the tuition waivers you get in exchange for working for the university. If you have medical expenses, that deduction goes away. If you deduct your tax preparation fees, that deduction goes away.

The biggest winners with this proposed tax plan are those who are already well-to-do. The losers are the middle class, the working poor and our grandchildren who have to pay the additional $1.5 trillion this plan adds to our deficit. I grew up on a farm in this wonderful state and we don't operate that way here.

This isn't us. We must do better. Our representatives should not support this plan. They must do better.

Kaye Carlson

Grand Forks