By 2027, almost 30 percent of individuals with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 would see their taxes rise under the elements of a Republican framework for tax legislation released this week, according to an analysis released Friday by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
The analysis came one day after White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said he couldn’t guarantee that every middle-class family would get a tax cut under the framework.
“You could find me someone in the country that their taxes may not go down,” Cohn told reporters Thursday at a White House press briefing.
The tax center’s analysis suggests it eventually could be many, many people.
That’s in part because of the framework’s call to end personal and dependent exemptions worth $1.6 trillion over a decade, according to the analysis. The exemption would be replaced with an expanded child credit that isn’t inflation-indexed. That means the number of taxpayers with a tax increase would rise over time.
The framework is a starting point for tax-writing committees to begin crafting legislation. Much remains undecided, including the amount by which Republicans plan to increase the child tax credit, which would mitigate the financial hit to some middle class families.
Raising taxes on the middle class could be a political obstacle for Republicans. Democrats are already highlighting the potential for just such a tax hike. Some GOP lawmakers are also worried about the prospect.
“I’ve also had that same concern—if the personal exemptions are gone and you have a family of six kids, well that could be a problem,” said Representative Chris Collins, a Trump ally from upstate New York.
Senator John Thune, the third-ranking Republican and member of the tax-writing Finance Committee, said it’s “going to be really important” to ensure middle class families don’t see their taxes go up. He pointed to the rate cuts, doubling of the standard deduction and an unspecified increase in the child tax credit as examples of middle-class tax relief in the framework.
In terms of middle-class benefits, the framework outlines a near doubling of the standard deduction — to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples—and calls for “significantly increasing” the child tax credit from the current $1,000 per child under 17. It would also expand eligibility to include more upper-middle class parents.