The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a landmark tax reform proposal, drafted in part by Rep. Kristi Noem. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which has found support from many South Dakotans, is expected to increase wages by 3.1 percent, add nearly 1 million jobs, and raise after-tax incomes by thousands of dollars, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation. Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Taxation found there would be “a tax benefit to all income categories.”

“I have worked hours going line by line through this legislation to make sure the policies contained in it are going to work for families, that they’ll increase wages for folks, and create more opportunity in America,” said Noem.

On the House Ways & Means Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over tax reform, Noem has championed many of the bill’s family-centered policies. Noem was vocal about the need to significantly expand the Child Tax Credit and led efforts to ensure the Child Care Credit and flexible spending benefits remained in the House proposal.

“I am extremely proud of the steps we’ve taken to strengthen families in this bill,” continued Noem. “South Dakota has the highest rate of working moms in the nation. Parents are already stretched thin, so the provisions in this bill are designed to help them – help them pay their bills, take care of their kids, go to work, and maybe at the end of the day, take a weekend where they can go and do something fun with their kids. That’s important to South Dakota.”

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also includes a handful of provisions Noem has previously introduced as stand-alone legislation. More specifically, the House tax reform proposal fully and permanently repeals the Death Tax by 2025, based on Noem’s Death Tax Repeal Act. Additionally, the bill excludes the Indian Health Service’s Student Loan Repayment program from tax, a provision that was pulled from Noem’s 2016 HEALTTH Act. Moreover, as one of the only members of the House Ways & Means Committee with a background in agriculture, Noem championed efforts to give farmers, ranchers, and small businesses better expensing tools and drive down the tax rate for small businesses.

“If we’re going to keep kids in South Dakota, we need to create opportunities in South Dakota,” Noem explained. “This tax reform package protects family farms from one generation to the next and makes it easier for South Dakota’s hardworking job creators to thrive.”

The Senate continues to debate their version of tax reform. Once passed, the House and Senate will go to Conference to merge the two documents before both chambers take a final vote and put the legislation on the president’s desk.

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