Congressman John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, sent a letter to constituents across the 15th Congressional District on April 15, Tax Day. Here are excerpts:
    
    President Reagan famously quipped that Republicans act like every day is the Fourth of July, and Democrats act like every day is Tax Day. Well this Tax Day every American — Republican, Democrat, or otherwise — has reason to celebrate. After more than 30 years, today is the last day we as Americans will file our taxes under an outdated, broken tax code.
    The reality is, whether you supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act or not, you’re very likely to see a reduction in the federal income taxes you pay next year as a result of the new law. In fact, a typical family of four in my district making $62,000 will save more than $1,700 a year thanks to the nearly doubled standard deduction, lower rates, and expanded child tax credits.
    While the new simpler tax code means 90 percent of my constituents will be able to take the standard deduction next year, those who can save more by using the long form will still be able to claim the most common itemizable deductions, including: mortgage interest, charitable contributions, major medical expenses, and up to $10,000 in state and local taxes.
    Allowing American taxpayers to take home more of what they earn is great, but you won’t have to wait until next year’s filing to see all the benefits of tax reform. Thanks to lower taxes on employers, more than 4 million workers are also seeing higher wages, getting bonuses, or being offered new or expanded education benefits and paid family leave. In fact, more than 400 companies have invested more than $4 billion as a result of the new law so far.
    That success is showing in the economy as a whole, so much so that even the New York Times had to admit the economy is looking awfully strong. In fact, this past February was the best month for goods-producing industries – including mining, logging, construction, and manufacturing – in nearly two decades, and the labor force participation rate also increased by over 800,000 workers – the largest single month jump in more than 15 years.
    But that’s not all. Americans’ optimism about the job market hit a record high soon after the tax bill was signed into law, and small business owners are more optimistic than ever about the economy and a record number of them say they’re looking to expand. Also, by all measures, a construction boom is shaping up for 2018.
    Here’s the bottom line: tax reform is working. It’s working for individual taxpayers, families, and American companies large and small.
    How is tax reform helping you?
    Thanks for reading,
     
    John Shimkus
    Member of Congress