Missourians react to Senate vote on tax reform

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COLUMBIA - Early Saturday morning, the Senate passed its tax reform bill, after a day filled with write-in additions and heated discussion across party lines.

With a 51-49 vote and only one Republican voting against the bill, Republican senators got just enough votes to pass the tax reform bill. Here in Missouri, people have had mixed reactions to the tax plan.

When Scott Denson, a retiree-turned-musician heard the news, he became concerned about how would affect the middle class.

"The people supporting it say that it will give a tax cut to the middle class. Other people say it doesn't," Denson said. "I think the truth is it might immediately but in the future it's going to raise it for the middle class. The poor, they don't pay any taxes. The really poor don't pay much taxes so it's not going to affect them much. However, it will affect them with the results of it." 

Denson believes that various social programs like Medicaid will have to be cut in order to fund other potential tax cuts, but he cannot know for sure. He says that a lot of the confusion surrounding the bill is because to the media coverage on it. 

"I think part of it is that the news media just doesn't have time anymore or doesn't take the time to give us the information that we really need," Denson said.

Lionelle Miller, an assistant administrator at the University of Missouri, does not think the tax reform bill is the issue. 

"I don't think tax cuts are bad. I think tax cuts are good if they're temporary and if they're paid for," Miller said. 

Miller did have some concerns regarding the bill and said he is not sure how the bill will affect him.

"I'm in the middle class. So I think, first off, I will get a tax cut, which would be good," Miller said. "But if, later on, my taxes will probably be raised and then the next generations going to have to pay for it."

However, some people see the tax bill as a very positive thing for the whole country. 

Kevin Smock responded to KOMU 8 News post on Facebook, "A tax bill you should be proud of, never mind it had to be quickly passed in the middle of the night."

Kevin Head also commented on the Facebook post, "The economy is going to come roaring back. That will benefit everyone. Just like the 80s... it might exceed the 80s."

"If someone in favor of it says 'no it will work', I'd just like to see some examples of when it works. I would like some really concrete examples," Denson said.

Miller said there are things that could be changed about local tax laws as well.

"I think getting rid of some of the loopholes and making it easier [to understand]," Miller said. "Taxes, I think, are one of those necessary evils. I don't mind paying taxes because I enjoy the goods and services that comes from it. But, they're very difficult and convoluted."

The House of Representatives passed its own version of the tax reform bill last month. It is expected that the Senate and House will go to conference and reconcile the two bills before the tax reform can officially become law.