The GOP tax bill passed the House on Thursday without the backing of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.)
“Today I opposed H.R. 1 because it will hurt New Jersey families who already pay some of the highest income and property taxes in the nation!” Frelinghuysen said in a statement.
The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee was among 13 Republican lawmakers–three of them in New Jersey–who opposed the bill, which passed by a 227-205 vote with no Democratic support.
The measure seeks to cut taxes by up to $1.5 trillion this year. Low- and middle-income families eventually would see their taxes rise under this plan, according to some analysts.
A Senate version of the bill, which has some key differences, would benefit millionaires while hiking taxes over the next decade for families making $10,000 to $75,000, contends a new report by Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
Frelinghuysen said the House bill, H.R. 1, “unfairly limited” state- and local tax deductions, and also reduces mortgage interest deductions.
“These changes will certainly erode property values, one of the most important financial assets for many New Jerseyans. These provisions alone could do much damage to the business climate in our state, a trend we must never tolerate, let alone encourage,” the Harding resident said.
He said he also opposes the bill’s elimination of medical expense deductions.
“I had hoped that 2017 would be the year that Congress enacts permanent, pro-growth tax reform. In fact, I was looking forward to voting for legislation that creates jobs, increases paychecks, reinforces fairness and expands the economy here at home, while strengthening America’s competitiveness around the world.
“However, I simply could not support the legislation due to very negative impacts it would have on so many of my fellow New Jerseyans,” Frelinghuysen’s statement said.
This marks Frelinghuysen’s first major departure from policies promoted by President Trump, who gave Republican members of Congress a pep talk prior to Thursday’s vote.
Activist groups like NJ 11th for Change are working to oust Frelinghuysen, now serving his 12th term, in next year’s midterm elections.
The Sierra Club–which is scheduled to participate in an anti-Frelinghuysen rally on Thursday night (Nov. 16, 2017) at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship– issued a statement earlier in the day blasting the Congressman for supporting the measure, calling it “a sell-out of the people of the 11th District and this entire country.”
Subsequently, the Sierra Club apologized “for the misinformation.”