Ivanka Trump, Mnuchin pitch GOP tax plan, draw some jeers
BERKELEY TOWNSHIP » Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday took their tax overhaul tour to New Jersey, where they promised legislation moving through Congress would simplify the tax code and ease burdens on taxpayers.
Trump and Mnuchin spoke at the Bayville Fire Hall alongside outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who introduced them, and GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur, who represents the district where the event was held.
The event lasted roughly a half-hour, with members of the invitation-only audience allowed to submit questions in advance. 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.
Jason Ireland of Brick was blocked from entering before the event and shouted into the room, “Why are they taking questions only from Republicans?”
Toward the end of the question-and-answer forum, Democratic voter and activist Marianne Clemente, of Barnegat, asked MacArthur whether she could ask a question, but was denied. She criticized the tax plan afterward.
“The middle class are gonna be hurt by this,” she said.
Trump, a senior adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, has been promoting the plan across the country.
The proposals in Congress pose problems for New Jersey, where property taxes are among the nation’s highest. The average property tax bill in New Jersey was about $8,500 last year, according to the state.
The House bill allows homeowners to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes while the Senate proposal unveiled by GOP leaders last week eliminates the entire deduction. Republicans are calling for cutting corporate rates and reducing the number of brackets on income tax from seven to four.