As reported previously, Republican Senator Bob Corker (TN) changed his opinion of the massive tax reform legislation working its way toward President Trump's desk, in spite of the fact that he had not read it beyond a brief summary and it maintains the same effect on the deficit - Corker's complaint about the first version.
Corker claims a last minute addition that would benefit those with significant real estate holdings, including himself, did not sway his vote, because he was not aware it had been added.
The same is true for Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker — a commercial real estate mogul who suddenly switched his vote to “yes” on the tax bill after the provision was added to the legislation. Previously, Corker was the only Republican to vote against the Senate version of the bill.
The addition involves a reduction in tax on 'pass-through' income:
The reconciled tax bill includes a new 20 percent deduction for so-called “pass-through” entities, business structures such as LLCs, LPs and S-Corporations that don’t pay corporate taxes, but instead “pass through” income to partners who pay individual tax rates on that money.
How does the provision benefit Trump and Corker financially?
The Senate version of the bill included safeguards that would only allow businesses to take advantage of the new break if they paid out significant wages to employees. But the new provision, which wasn’t included in either version of the bill passed by the House and Senate, and was only added during the reconciliation process, gives owners of income-producing real estate holdings a way around that safeguard, effectively creating a new tax break for large landlords and real estate moguls.
The beneficiaries of this change to the bill are not limited to Corker and Trump:
IBT previously reported that 13 Republican lawmakers directly overseeing the tax bill — including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan — make up to $16 million a year from the kind of real-estate related pass-through entities that could benefit from the tax bill.
Democrats are unable to offer amendments to eliminate the provision, because the language did not exist in the original versions passed by the House and Senate.
“Writing a tax bill that puts the very wealthy and special interests before working families was bad enough – but to slip in a last minute provision that could give even more of a windfall to people like President Trump and some Republicans in Congress is unconscionable,” [Democratic Sen. Chris]Van Hollen (MD) told IBT.