Friday, May 25, 2018
A bill to repeal a new tax on union dues and unreimbursed job expenses has stalled in the Senate, a significant financial blow to many working families and union members.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, would reverse a little-publicized hike in the 2017 tax bill. Until last year, taxpayers who itemized their return could deduct a portion of their union dues and any other unreimbursed job expenses. That disappeared when Donald Trump signed the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" three days before Christmas last year.
In total, in 2014, the most recent year data was available, Americans deducted $90 billion for union dues and miscellaneous job expenses. The savers included hundreds of thousands of IBEW utility, telecommunications and construction members, who will no longer be able to deduct part of the cost of uniforms or expenses incurred when traveling for work.
The total cost of getting rid of that one deduction is close $20 billion a year, according to Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
To put that in context, ITEP found that the new law cuts taxes on foreign investors by $47 billion annually and the corporate tax rate cut in the bill will reduce the tax bill of just one company, Apple, by nearly $7 billion each year.