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Fantasy tax reform

Many homeowners take their mortgage interest, real estate taxes, state taxes and donations to ... However, it’s the loss of the state tax deduction that got my attention. West Virginia is not cheap to live in, no matter what anyone from Maryland tells ...

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Light-years in the past, Congress promised federal tax reformThat was three weeks ago. (function() { var ARTICLE_URL = window.location.href; var CONTENT_ID = '703426'; document.write(''+'\x3C/scr'+'ipt>');})();We don’t know the details, but the good news for many is that the standard deduction could be doubledThe bad news is that expenses usually itemized on Schedule A might be changedMany homeowners take their mortgage interest, real estate taxes, state taxes and donations to non-profits, and subtract that from their earned incomeIt usually totals far more than the standard deduction, lowering their taxable income. The thought of losing those write-offs is probably creating a panic right now, if we weren’t already in a panic over the threat of nuclear warHowever, it’s the loss of the state tax deduction that got my attentionWest Virginia is not cheap to live in, no matter what anyone from Maryland tells youThe state tax rate here is effectively higher than Illinois, which doesn’t tax pensions or Social SecurityWhen money you’ve earned is clawed back by the state you live in for taxes, it is not ‘earned income’ anymore You were just the middleman between your employer and your government. So in the spirit of Mitt Romney, who famously quoted an 1886 Supreme Court case when he said “corporations are people”, my Fantasy Tax Reform would make that phrase true in the reverseIf Corporations are People, then People are Corporations We should be able to deduct expenses the same way businesses do. First, all operating expenses for maintaining your personhood would be deductibleThat includes all types of insurance, bad debts, all taxes, professional services, and payments to employees (i.ethe babysitter). Since education is an investment, tuition would be a straight deduction, not just a tiny creditAnd health is also an investment, so all medical and dental costs paid by yourself would be deductions off the top, not the 7 percent pittance allowed now Improving our health and intellect is just like upgrading machinery in a factory, or updating your office computer systemBy the way, interest on loans of any kind would be fully deductible. For the middle-class, taxable income would exclude your bank savingsFew people are likely to stash cash due to current low interest ratesBut adequate individual savings could mean fewer government programs needed to support people when their safety nets failThat’s worth the deduction. On the flip side, corporations would have to follow the same rules individuals do: the IRS says if you sell your house for a profit (over a certain amount) you’ll owe Capital Gains taxYou can’t take a Capital Loss from a home sale, only a Capital Gain But corporations can sell property and equipment at a loss, and write the Loss off their GainsMillions of American homeowners should have been able to do the same when the real estate market crash in 2008 put their homes ‘underwater’ In my Fantasy Tax Reform, you can choose which type of appropriations you’d like to ‘contribute’ to If the military is your priority, check the box for BOMBS AND BOMBERS If you want to support infrastructure or diplomacy, check the box for BRIDGE BUILDING If you want to preserve the environment, UN-CHECK the box for EPA If you want to help repay the national debt, check BLACK HOLE At least this would give us a more democratic way of electing where our resources go, rather than electing representatives who then decide where our resources go. The last item on my list really is a fantasyYou’d earn a tax credit for every call or letter to your state representatives letting them know what you’d like them to do on your behalf, or thank them for doing something you agree with, regardless of political partyDream on! ??? Carol Williams is a U.SArmy veteran, former ER nurse, and lives in Berkeley County She can be contacted at try { _402_Show(); } catch(e) {} COMMENTS Editorials Dealing hope in the opioid crisis The scourge of addiction touched each of their lives. But it would't stop them from making a difference. For ... WVU employs powerful tools in fight against opioid epidemic West Virginia leads the nation in the number of opioid addicts per capita, but it now has the opportunity to lead ... Support the community by shopping local The holiday season is upon usMany are gearing up for Black Friday, others are perfecting their shopping lists... In the spirit of giving, fellowship Many residents look forward to the holiday season with anticipationFor them, the holidays are full of family, joy ... In gratitude for all the Unsung Heroes among us For nearly two decades, The Journal has been writing stories for its Unsung Hero seriesThe series runs once a ... Understanding how government works is essential to democracy Many Americans don’t understand their government It’s true we can’t comprehend lawmakers who fail to ...

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