I am a volunteer income tax assistant working with RSVP of Centre County helping to complete free income tax forms for many local residents. Consequently, I have followed the development of the new tax law with great interest. After Congress agreed on a final bill, I decided to gather all the information I could about the bill and calculate my own taxes under the new law and compare them with what I paid under the existing law. I used my 2016 taxes for the comparison. I am married, my wife and I are both over 65, we have an adult child who we claim as a dependent, and we itemize deductions. Under the new tax law, our itemized deductions would be less than the standard deduction so I used the new standard deduction. We are considered middle class under every criteria used to determine middle class. After calculating our taxes using the new tax rates, I found our “greatest middle class tax cut ever” to be — surprise — a $491 increase! I know that there are many middle class taxpayers who will in fact, see a tax cut under the new law, but there are also many like myself who will see an increase. So when our elected officials claim that this is a great deal for the middle class, know that there are some of us for whom it is anything but great. Sad. Very sad.
Barry Rossman, Centre Hall