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Senate Tax Plan May Get Jeers, Not Cheers

May 25, 1986

James Flanigan's article on the Senate's tax reforms ("Tax Bill Gets Two--But Not Three--Cheers," May 13), concluding with "how little hissing this tax bill is attracting," deserves a rebuttal.

The bottom line is that big business and wealthy taxpayers will reap the gravy from lower tax rates. Most taxpayers will get a lot of crumbs.

For example:

- About 38 million taxpayers paid tax preparers to do their tax returns. Under the Senate's proposal, none of them will be entitled to deduct this expense.

- Millions of Americans who must belong to unions to hold their jobs and earn their livelihood will not be able to deduct this legitimate tax-related item.

- Millions of married couples where both spouses work will lose the "marital tax credit," which means that they will pay at least $1,000 in extra taxes when compared to two single taxpayers grossing the same taxable income. The differential increases as taxable income increases.

- Raising the "floor" of the medical expense deduction from 5% to 10% will have an unfair impact on taxpayers with major medical outlays. (Congressional tax reformers use this device to eliminate many legitimate deductions, and I predict that they will set a 3% floor on the state income tax deduction.)

- Finally, a majority of taxpayers will find the pittance of income-tax savings will be eroded by the higher Social Security taxes.

Unless the above inequities are addressed in the final tax bill, many Americans will belatedly hiss all those responsible.

JOSEPH L. WEISS

Los Angeles

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