Proposed Tax Bill Could Cost APFA Members
Call Your Senator TODAY!
Both the House and Senate will vote on a major overhaul of the current national tax code this week. The bill was written, deliberated, and agreed to under the cover of darkness. It happened quickly and without public hearings or debate. APFA members should be aware of changes that would affect millions of middle class Americans.
Q: Why is this important for Flight Attendants?
A: In this tax plan, Flight Attendants lose the ability to deduct unreimbursed flight crew expenses such as layover expenses, cell phone charges, meals, per diem, transportation, union dues, uniforms, luggage, language classes, tax preparation fees, etc. The result may be that many Flight Attendants take the standard deduction so it is important for Flight Attendants to run their 2018 tax scenarios.
Other key provisions of the tax bill include:
- Standard deductions increased:Personal exemption ($4050 per family member) eliminated.
- Individual— $6350 to $12,000
- Head of household— $9350 to $18,000
- Married— $12,700 to $24,000
- Child tax credit increased to $2000 per child under age 17.
- Individual and married tax brackets adjusted (top rate lowered from 39.6% to 37%)
- State and local tax deductions capped at $10,000, instead of no maximum.
- No change to 401Ks.
- Affordable Care Act mandate eliminated beginning in 2019.
- Corporate tax rates reduced from 35% to 21% beginning in 2018.
- Many special interest provisions for Wall Street, Oil and Gas and other big businesses.
Q: How much do these tax cuts cost?
A: The bill would increase the national deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion. This could mean less investment in transportation and infrastructure, investments that keep America competitive. Furthermore, there will be pressure to cut funding for programs that many middle classes families depend upon. GOP leadership has already pledged to “look at” the spending levels of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Q: Who benefits from this bill?
A: It might appear that APFA members see some tax relief on the front end, but for most of us, any relief and more will be lost by the elimination of the critical work-related deductions that we rely on. Corporations and the wealthy will end up the very big winners. The middle class does get a cut, but it is not “huge” or “historic” or “the largest ever.” Furthermore, the limit on deducting state and local taxes will penalize members who live in states that make strong investments in public services, such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York.
Q: How likely will this tax bill pass?
A: Right now, the GOP claims to have the votes they need. Pat Toomey (PA) is voting Yes. Marco Rubio (FL) was holding out but is now voting Yes. Both Richard Burr and Thom Tillis (NC) are firm in their support. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz (TX) are Yes votes. In Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake have both toyed with voting No, but are now committed to supporting the bill. Other Senators who have expressed some doubts, but now say they support the bill, include Senator Corker (TN) and Senator Collins (ME).
Q: How can I express my opinion about the tax bill?
A: The most effective thing APFA members can do is flood Senate offices with calls voicing their opinion on this tax bill today and tomorrow. The U.S. Capitol Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121 and a switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request. Individual Senate office phone numbers can also be found on the Senate Directory.
In addition to calling, you can email your Representatives in just a few clicks.
APFA is a national union, and the decisions the Senate makes as a whole, affect our entire membership—so if this bill affects you, we urge you to take a few minutes to call some key Senators TODAY!
APFA Interim Government Affairs Representative