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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley, Illinois Democrats Reveal Report Highlighting GOP Tax Scam Impact on Homeowners

Oct 26, 2018
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as a Member on the House Appropriations Committee, joined fellow Illinois Democrats in issuing a new report detailing the negative impacts the new GOP tax laws will have homeowners in the Chicagoland area. The report was issued by Democratic staff of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at the request of Representatives Schakowsky and Kelly.

“Real, comprehensive tax reform would help all Americans, but Republicans aren’t interested in providing relief to those who need it most,” said Rep. Quigley. “Instead of supporting middle-class families who help our communities grow and thrive, they have introduced a GOP Tax Scam that provides tax breaks for mega real estate developers at the expense of hardworking homeowners. The callus decision to destroy vital longstanding tax deductions that assist Chicagoans who do not receive a fair return on investment from their federal tax dollars is a direct affront to those who have built their homes, families, and lives in the Chicagoland area.”

The new report details how the Republican tax law will impose significant new financial penalties on American homeowners across the country, while essentially using the funds raised by these tax increases to help pay for lucrative new tax breaks for real estate developers. Under the new tax law, homeowners are now prohibited from deducting interest on home equity loans if they use those funds for unexpected medical emergencies, to pay for college education, or for any purpose other than home improvement. This retroactive provision applies even to future interest payments on loans taken out by homeowners in the past. Homeowners also are no longer allowed to deduct property taxes on their homes to the extent that state and local taxes, including property taxes, are more than $10,000.

“This report demonstrates how, yet again, Republicans are benefitting corporations and billionaires and leaving every day Americans to pick up their tab,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Last month, Republicans pushed through another tax bill to make the temporary provisions in their first $2 trillion-dollar tax bill permanent. The Republican tax law provides $66.7 billion in tax breaks and giveaways to real estate developers while capping the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for homeowners at $10,000. In a state like Illinois, where homeowners already pay significantly more in property taxes, this provision will be disastrous. Republicans in Congress are making it even more difficult for working families to achieve the American dream, by weakening home ownership, which was once a staple of the American middle class. They have taken away the tax deductions that many Illinoisans rely in order to enrich the GOP donor class. The only winners from the GOP’s Tax Scam 2.0 are wealthy real estate developers, the super-rich, and corporate executives – the losers are middle class Americans and those who aspire to be middle class.”

In contrast, the new tax law grants commercial real estate developers significant new tax breaks worth billions of dollars. Real estate developers are now allowed to take new deductions on pass-through income, pay dividends that are taxed at reduced rates, take advantage of an exemption from a provision that otherwise limits businesses from deducting interest, and utilize another exemption to avoid paying taxes on property exchanges. New estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation conclude that these tax giveaways to real estate developers total a staggering $66.7 billion in lost revenue over ten years. Just next year, the windfall for real estate developers due to these four tax changes will total nearly $3.7 billion.

“When Illinois homeowners pay more in taxes, they can thank Congressional Republicans, especially Pete Roskam who authored the legislation,” said Rep. Robin Kelly. “Instead of crafting a plan that provides relief for working and middle-class Illinois families, Congressional Republicans passed a tax scam that gives more than 80 percent of the benefits to a handful of super rich families. What they are doing to Illinois homeowners is bad policy and makes zero economic sense.”