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What a Democrat-Controlled House Means for Taxes

November 16, 2018

While the vote count wraps up for the midterm elections, Democrats are certain to take control of the House of Representatives — and they’re certain to fight for higher taxes for the wealthy, Sandra Swirski writes on ThinkAdvisor.

The Democrats have already gained 33 seats and are expected to win 35 to 40 once the counting is done, according to the New York Times.

For starters, this means that the Democrats will re-litigate the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the House Ways and Means Committee, according to Swirski, a lawyer and founder of the government affairs firm Urban Swirski & Associates.

They’ll raise issue regarding areas such as depreciation and the new pass-through deductions, and in general try to demonstrate “the massive and unfair tax cuts for the undeserving wealthy,” as they would call it, she writes.

They’ll be met with evidence from the Republicans that the tax cuts created job growth and benefited small business owners, according to Swirski. The Democrats will try to raise taxes on the wealthy — which isn’t likely to happen, since the Senate is set to remain in Republican hands and because President Donald Trump isn’t going to sign the Democrats’ tax proposal into law, she writes.

However, “Democrats could settle for smaller legislative wins that could show voters they can effectively lead” by taking on sections of the new tax bill “bit by boring bit,” according to Swirski.

In the Senate, meanwhile, experts anticipate Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to take over as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, she writes.

Grassley has chaired the committee before and initiated many investigations during his tenure — and he’ll likely do so again, according to Swirski. Also, because Grassley is deeply familiar with the Republicans’ new tax law, he knows all its problems, which suggests the Senate may work across the aisles on tax legislation, she writes. Here, the Democrats are likely to push for raising the $10,000 state and local tax deductions cap, according to Swirski.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Wealth Management article cited in this story, click here.