Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Tax season a reminder of good changes

April 27, 2018
Op-Ed


Tax Season a reminder of good changes
Rep. Pete Olson


It’s that time of the year again—the dreaded tax season. The time of the year where it seems like the federal government takes more and more of your hard earned paycheck, leaving you with less to pay bills, buy groceries or purchase other items your family needs.

Well, there is some bad news and good news on the tax front. The bad news is that this year folks will still have to file their taxes under our old, outdated and complicated tax code. But, the good news is that this is the last year folks will have to do so!

Last December, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the first real overhaul of our nation’s tax code in over 30 years. While there was skepticism surrounding this tax reform when it was enacted, over the past few months, Americans have begun seeing the benefits. Nearly four million American workers have received over $4 billion in benefits, bonuses and pay raises. Nine out of ten employees are seeing more money in their paychecks thanks to updated federal income tax withholding tables.

Folks in our area are reaping the benefits too. Houstonians have received bonuses at local companies like Camp Construction, Waste Management, Insperity or Cabot Oil and Gas, and others have received higher wages or stock benefits at national companies like Wells Fargo, Apple, McDonalds and AT & T. People have more money in the bank to pay off bills, save for their kids’ college or buy the new appliance they need for their home. They have peace of mind knowing that they can set a little more aside for future emergencies.

America has the strongest labor market in nearly two decades. The U.S. economy has created over 600,000 new jobs in first quarter of 2018 ALONE!  Our 4.1 % unemployment rate is at a 17 year low. Last month, the Labor Department announced that U.S. filings for unemployment benefits are at their lowest level in 49 years. That’s almost half a century! And, companies are still trying to fill millions of jobs.

Many local businesses are excited about what the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act means for them. They talk about the extra money they will have and how they plan to help their employees and give back to the community.

Finally, American businesses will once again be competitive in the global market. For too long, our tax code discouraged companies from bringing their international profits back home. Now, they won’t be penalized for these international profits and will be able to reinvest in American equipment and employees to grow their businesses.

This is just the beginning. Lower rates for folks across the board don’t go into effect until next year, when you file taxes for your 2018 income. If this much good has already come from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in only a few months, imagine where we will be in a year from now!