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Fulfilling our promise of a fair and simple tax code is a top priority in Congress.

For decades, tax season has brought unnecessary stress and anxiety on families across our state and nation. People are spending over six billion hours and $168 billion annually to file their returns with a total of 90 percent of taxpayers being forced to hire a tax professional.

On Nov. 16, we supported and passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the House, while the Senate passed its version on Dec. 2. For the first time in more than three decades, Congress voted to move forward with tax-reform legislation. This crucial reform would jump-start the economy, give hardworking families a break, and make the United States more competitive worldwide.

Now, both chambers are in a conference committee--a place where selected members of both bodies meet to reconcile the differences between their respective tax reform bills. The goal of the conference is to agree on a final tax proposal that reforms America's out-of-date tax code, lowers and simplifies taxes for working families, and boosts economic growth--all of which lead to more jobs and higher wages here in Arkansas.

As your representatives, our objective is to keep key provisions in the final bill that allow families and individuals to invest in themselves. We believe Arkansans know how best to spend their hard-earned dollars, not Washington.

Our goal is to see lower individual tax rates, an increase to the standard deduction, and the elimination of Washington-generated loopholes. With nearly 77 percent of Arkansans taking the standard deduction, doubling the amount would put more money in the pockets of citizens across the Natural State.

We are hopeful key provisions in the House bill will be included in the final version. For example, our bill would allow a typical Arkansas family to keep an additional $2,020 of their income. According to the Tax Foundation, it would also create 8,277 new full-time jobs across the state.

In addition, we want to ensure an increase in the child tax credit--from $1,000 to $1,600--a boost that would help most working families.

For entrepreneurs, we would like to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax and keep small-business tax rates under 25 percent--which would be the lowest rate since World War II. This would be a significant reduction from today, and would help job creators expand their businesses.

By lowering our corporate tax rates and ending double taxation on foreign earnings of American businesses, we would incentivize businesses and investments to return home, bringing more jobs with them.

Reforming the nation's tax code provides better opportunities for people to succeed and live the American dream. Our ultimate goal is to grow the economy, simplify the tax code, and ease the financial burden on families.

This is our chance to make it easier for people across our state to navigate our tax system and provide them with significant relief.

We look forward to reviewing the text of the final bill and delivering the historic tax reform that Arkansas families need and deserve.


Rep. Rick Crawford represents Arkansas' 1st District, Rep. French Hill represents the 2nd District, Rep. Steve Womack represents the 3rd District, and Rep. Bruce Westerman represents the 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Editorial on 12/16/2017

Print Headline: Relief for state

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  • BoudinMan
    December 16, 2017 at 7:26 a.m.

    Well, you missed out on your promise. This tax-relief-for-the-wealthy(TRW) is a behemoth of a tax bill, and anything but simple tax relief for the middle class. I know you all will be so happy and pleased with yourselves, just like you were when you had that frat boy kegger after repealing the ACA in the House. But, the only other people who will be pleased are the Koch brothers, the trump family, and you millionaires in congress. Thanks alot, teabaggers. But remember, there will be a reckoning.

  • notbot
    December 16, 2017 at 10:38 a.m.

    Glad you signed this screed of greed. It will help the 2018 voter. This is for the elite’s you represent who own banks and real estate companies, and cry about how your private school son, Scorinthians, needs a break for his trust that never paid taxes anyway!

  • JakeTidmore
    December 16, 2017 at 4:05 p.m.

    Change the headline to read: Congressmen for Sale. (S)tools of and for the rich!!

  • Shearload
    December 16, 2017 at 5:24 p.m.

    French Hill, you have handed me a project in my retirement. I haven't worked in a political campaign in nearly forty years, but I will work hard and give freely to see you defeated in 2018.

    From what I have read about your bill, my taxes will be either unchanged or higher. And you put Medicare at risk for cuts.

    I have two grown children. Their taxes, if they go down at all, will drop only slightly, and perhaps only temporarily. In exchange for that, they will be saddled with the consequences of your budget deficits for decades to come.

    You deserve to lose in 2018.

  • bobgee33
    December 16, 2017 at 9:10 p.m.

    The principle of Congressional elections is to elect a Representative who will, once elected represent the interests of his/her total constituency during their term in office. Not just the citizens who voted for the Representative and most certainly not for the interests of the contributors to the candidates campaign...most of whom do not live in the district or even in the state of Arkansas. One way of saying it is that the Representative should serve their constituency in a statesmanlike manner. It is very clear that French Hill is not a statesman, but is representing those out of district, out of state contributors who will provide him funding for his re-election. The last individual to perform as a statesman in this district was Vic Snyder whose first question in voting on any legislation was "is this best for the people that I represent". French Hill's first question is "is this best for the special interests I represent". The same is true with the other Congressman whose staff wrote an opinion to be published in today's paper. A guest opinion that advances a story intended to dupe their constituents...full of false information that many would call "damn lies". Congressmen, is it really worth selling your souls for money to get re-elected? What a great example that sets for the future generation of Arkansans. Shame on you