Ivanka Trump and Steven Mnuchin Press Tax Overhaul in New Jersey

Ivanka Trump and Steven Mnuchin Press Tax Overhaul in New Jersey

Monday's invitation-only event was at the Bayville Fire Hall. Those attended were allowed to fill out questions card before the event; those questions were given to the trio. About two-dozen pickets protested the Republican tax plan outside the event, including one holding tombstone-shaped sign that said "RIP Middle Class", and the event itself was interrupted twice.

Before the event started, Jason Ireland, of Brick, came inside the venue and yelled "Why are not Democrats allowed?"

At its conclusion the event veered off-script just a tad, when a protester, who had infiltrated the crowd, tried to ask a question. Murphy called the tax proposal a "scam" that would hurt the middle class the most, benefit the wealthiest and raise the national debt.

But most New Jersey residents worry about losing SALT, so-called state and local tax deductions.

Democrats and some Republicans from highly taxed states such as New Jersey, New York and California are opposed to the GOP's tax proposals, which would eliminate or cap deductions for state and local taxes.

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Though both the House and Senate bills would lower marginal income tax rates, both contain proposals to eliminate certain deductions.

The pair each took a stool and spent a carefully choreographed half-hour promoting both House and Senate versions of tax reform bills and fielding scripted questions from their host, 3rd District Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur. More than half of the town's residents are senior citizens - many living on fixed incomes - and tax deductions are important, Republican Mayor Carmen Amato said. "And we believe cutting the rate of taxes on corporations, medium size and small businesses is going to accomplish the goal of putting more money back in the pockets of American workers". Earlier this month, his office issued this brief statement: "Now that the House Ways and Means Committee has released its proposed tax reform bill, I look forward to evaluating its details to determine the legislation's effect on my New Jersey constituents", Frelinghuysen said.

MacArthur says he'll keep pushing to improve the measure, but a vote on the House bill is expected later this week.

"What we wanted was to give them a chance to speak and let people hear them speak", he said.

He told attendees "Our objective, as you know, is making sure people in this room get tax cuts".

Jean Hopkins, of Berkeley Township, said she was "not fully confident" that she'll save money under the GOP plans.

"Right now, we have one of the highest corporate taxes in the world".

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