When it comes to tax cuts, most of the states that President Donald Trump won in the last election fared better than the national average – giving Republicans a valuable rallying point for the 2020 campaigns.
“This helps Trump and the Republican Party,” said Doug Kaplan, president of Gravis Marketing, which conducts polls in Kentucky and other states.
Republicans will need that support as the debate over the value of the $1.5 trillion tax cut becomes a political flashpoint during the 2020 campaigns.
Most taxpayers began to see the impact of the tax law when they filed their 2018 tax returns by the mid-April deadline.
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Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s households were estimated to see lower income taxes this year as a result of the new law, according to a 2018 study by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center.
The study’s co-author said those estimates are largely holding in a new analysis done this year, but the center won’t see actual results from the tax season until later this year. “Nothing has really changed all that much,” said Frank Sammartino, a senior fellow at the center.
Trump states did particularly well. In 22 of the 30 states he won, a higher percentage of households are expected to have lower income taxes than the national average of 64.3 percent last year. So are households in 13 of the 20 states won by Democrat Hillary Clinton, as well as the District of Columbia, which she also won.
The tax law signed by Trump in December 2017 went into effect last year and the biggest impact is showing up for the first time in individual returns that were filed earlier this year.
The law lowered most marginal income tax rates through 2025, suspended the personal exemption, curtailed some popular tax breaks and dramatically increased the standard deduction. .Democratic presidential candidates decried the cuts during Tuesday night’s debate, with former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper calling the changes an “incredible tax cut to the rich.”
Trump is already popular with the sizeable conservative populations in the 30 states he won in 2016 due to his immigration, health care and social policies. By being able to show most of those states disproportionately benefited from the tax cut is a “win-win” for Trump, Kaplan of Gravis said.