Posted on February 21, 2018
MEMPHIS, Tenn., February 21, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said to members of the East Memphis Rotary that “Shelby County families should see more money in their paychecks this month.”
“Because of the new tax law the Republican-led Congress passed in December, Tennessee families and businesses should keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets,” Alexander said. “I expect most Memphis families will begin seeing the benefits of this new law in their February paychecks.”
Alexander continued: “For example, a family of four in Shelby County making a little over $70,000 a year should save more than $2,000 on their taxes, and a single mother making $41,000 a year should see a $1,300, or 73 percent, reduction in her taxes. Tennessee families should receive a tax credit worth up to $2,000 per child – and you could receive as much as $1,400 of the child tax credit as a refund. The new law also repeals the individual mandate, which has been a particularly cruel tax to lower-income Tennesseans — most of the people in our state who pay the individual mandate penalty make less than $50,000 a year.
“Perhaps one of the most exciting things about this law is that it also cut taxes on businesses, which will help create more good-paying jobs and raise wages for Tennesseans. Tennesseans are already beginning to see the impact – Memphis-based FedEx announced over $200 million in pay raises, First Tennessee gave its employees a $1,000 bonus, and Wal-Mart increased its starting wage and provided a $1,000 bonus to eligible employees. These are just a few examples, and I’m optimistic there will be many more.”
Alexander also mentioned the work he is doing as chairman of the Senate health committee to help combat the opioid crisis that is affecting Tennessee families and children.
“In 2016, Shelby County had 197 drug overdose deaths, 150 of which were from opioid overdoses. Congress took important steps in 2016 by passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act—which established new programs and encouraged those on the front lines to work together to combat substance abuse, especially opioid abuse—and provided $1 billion in new funding for states to fight the opioid crisis as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act.
“I will be holding more hearings in the spring to address this crisis, and I will continue working closely with the Trump administration and my colleagues in Congress to see what additional steps Congress should take to help states, doctors, and families address and solve this tragic problem.”
On October 5, 2017, the Senate’s health committee held the first hearing of the series which focused on the federal response to the opioid crisis, and on November 30, 2017, the committee heard from witnesses representing states, communities, and providers on what they are doing and what, if any, new authorities they need from the federal government to fight the crisis. On January 9, 2018, the committee heard from author Sam Quinones, who has extensively researched and written about the opioid crisis. On February 8, the committee held its fourth hearing this Congress on the opioid crisis to look at its effect on children and families.