The people of Illinois are unfortunately all too familiar with high taxes and the burden they put on families and our local businesses. At the federal level things are nearly as bad, with a tax code that is more than 74,000 pages long and filled with loopholes.

This long and complex tax code only benefits the wealthy and special interests, which is why Republicans are determined to pass real comprehensive tax reform that puts our middle class first.

Our framework put forth last week delivers on our promise to make a tax code that works for everyday Americans. By increasing the standard deduction for individuals to $12,000 and to $24,000 for families, many will see the amount of their income subject to taxation drop dramatically.

Beyond that, we are proposing simplifying the tax brackets by having only three (12 percent 25 percent and 35 percent) compared to the seven brackets we currently have. This change will make it much easier for Americans to know what their tax rate is, and means that workers will not have to worry about frequent jumps in their tax rate as their salary increases.

For families, we also would significantly increase the child tax credit, and increase the income level at which it begins to phase out, allowing many more middle class families to receive the relief.

Overall, an evaluation of these proposals earlier this year estimated that the median Illinois family would save more than $5,000 in taxes every year under the plan.

Not only will American workers be able to keep more of their paychecks under this framework, but small businesses will see their lowest tax rate since the 1930s.

I’ve met with small business owners all across our district, from Manchester Tank in Quincy to Destihl Brewery in Bloomington-Normal, and they all agreed that a lower tax rate would mean more money to raise wages, invest in their business, and create more jobs.

All of these proposed reforms are designed to create more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for the American worker. We have seen time and again that the best way to accomplish this is through simplification and lowering rates that leads to more prosperity for all and a stronger American economy.

As President Reagan once said, “you can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.”

It was during Reagan’s presidency more than 30 years ago that Congress last passed tax reform, and the time is now to fix our unfair system and get it working for the middle class again.

As the committees take up our framework and begin to write the legislation, I will continue to meet and hear from local families and businesses as I advocate for a tax system that works for the people of our district and creates a strong 21st century economy.

LaHood, a Peoria Republican, represents the 18th Congressional District.

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