Ivanka Trump, Mnuchin pitch GOP tax plan, draw some jeers

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Michael Catal­ini

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.

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