Our challenge is to figure out if we are winners or losers with the proposed tax plan. It appears that many in the middle class are the losers.

Under the proposed plan: Corporations can deduct property taxes, but the individual’s deduction for local property taxes is eliminated. A corporation can close locations and move operations and it can deduct those moving expenses. But the employee who worked there cannot deduct their moving expenses when they move to a new job. The top tax rate for corporations is reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of middle-class families in North Dakota will likely pay higher taxes.

The estate tax is currently paid on estates over $5.5 million. Some argue that raising this threshold will benefit North Dakota farmers. But fewer than 10 North Dakota estates were required to pay this tax last year. So, if the threshold is increased to $11 million ($22 million for couples), do our North Dakota families and agricultural economy really benefit?

If you make student loan payments you will no longer be able to deduct your interest. If you are a graduate student, you will pay taxes on tuition waivers you get in exchange for working for the university. If you have medical expenses, that deduction goes away. If you deduct your tax preparation fees, that deduction goes away.

The biggest winners with this proposed tax plan are those who are already well-to-do. The losers are the middle class, the working poor and our grandchildren who have to pay the additional $1.5 trillion this plan adds to our deficit. I grew up on a farm in this wonderful state and we don’t operate that way here. This isn’t us. We must do better. Our representatives should not support this plan. They must do better.

Kaye Carlson, Grand Forks

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