WASHINGTON—By a 227-205 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill Nov. 17 that would deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts while making major changes in federal tax provisions.
Among other things, the House bill would:
- Reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent;
- Double the threshold for the estate tax to nearly $11 million, with total repeal by 2024;
- Nearly double the personal exemption, to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 to couples filing jointly; and
- Repeal deductions for state and local taxes, with a $10,000 cap on personal property tax deductions.
The House bill remains controversial in several quarters. The AFL-CIO described it as "a job-killer," because of business tax breaks for outsourcing, and small business organizations such as the Tire Industry Association expressed concerns over the bill's tax treatment of "pass-through" business entities.
On the other hand, many business interests are enthusiastic about the legislation. The American Trucking Associations said the tax package would act "to the benefit of workers, small businesses and families across the economic spectrum."
The Senate version of tax reform contains significant differences from the House bill, such as a provision repealing the individual mandate requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate Finance Committee is still working on the legislation, but Senate GOP leadership said it hoped to bring the bill to a vote shortly after the Thanksgiving recess.