California Congressional Representatives Split Mainly Along Partisan Lines on Important Tax Vote

Income Tax Code

The recent overhaul of the federal income tax code found members of Congress from California split largely along partisan lines in terms of their voting stance. The vast majority of Republicans representing Congressional districts in the state voted in favor of the tax reform package; only two voted against the legislation. Every Democrat in Congress from California voted to oppose the reforms.

A Majority of Democrats in California's House Delegation

Of California's total of 53 congressional districts, Democrats represent 39 districts and Republicans represent 14 districts. With the exception of the San Diego area, most of the populous coastal districts in the state have elected Democrats to serve in Congress. The interior districts have overwhelmingly selected Republicans.

The pivotal vote on tax reform gained support from all Republicans except Representative Darrell Issa from District 49 (Vista) and Representative Dana Rohrbacher from District 48 (Lakeside). Congressman Issa informed The Los Angeles Daily News he had decided to oppose the tax package because it would raise taxes for many Californians.

The Impact of the Federal Tax Reforms on California

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan organization, has contended the new legislation will supply the biggest tax breaks to wealthy Americans. The legislation cuts tax rates for everyone. However, the provisions providing cuts for individuals will largely expire by 2027.

During 2018, the new law offers across the board tax cuts, with taxpayers earning above $48,600 qualifying in greatest numbers for tax reductions. About 9.3% of taxpayers earning more than $732,800 will actually see their taxes increase during 2018, however. Barring a stimulation of the economy, the new law will ultimately contribute to the federal deficit according to the Tax Policy Center.

Doubling Standard Deductions

California Representative Paul Cook, a Republican member of Congress from Yucca Valley, has stated the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will still preserve the mortgage interest deductions for most of the taxpayers in his district. He observed the new law will double the standard deduction. It will also allow an additional 25,000 families in District 8 to qualify for child tax credits.

Many Republicans in Congress hope the legislation will stimulate economic growth. The law still permits an additional standard deduction for tax filers who are blind or over the age of 65. That deduction permits some tax filers to deduct up to $1300 from their 2018 taxes.