Tax Vote “Straw that broke the camel’s back” for one former Comstock voter
“Maybe if Rep. Barbara Comstock held a single town hall, she would know that her vote to hike taxes on families and homeowners in Northern Virginia is not only feeding grassroots opposition in the district, it is also turning her own Republican voters against her,” said Jacob Peters of the DCCC.
MSNBC: Constituents Protest Comstock’s District and D.C. Offices
Reuters: Cuts to homeowner tax breaks could cost Republicans in 2018 races
December 6, 2017
By Sharon Bernstein and Howard Schneider
Laura Russo is just the kind of voter the Republicans need, but the party’s proposed tax overhaul, which includes limits on the deductions for mortgage interest, state taxes and property taxes, is pushing her away.
“I would be dramatically affected,” she said. An airline pilot and single mother of two, she says that like many in her affluent Loudoun County, Virginia, neighborhood she stretched to buy her home. She fears it will become harder to sell that house or pay her other tax bills if President Donald Trump signs the plan into law.
Russo, 52, said she had voted for the Republican in every presidential race since 1992 until last year when she picked Hillary Clinton. She still voted for Barbara Comstock, the Republican who represents her district in Congress.
“I will not do that again,” she said. “The tax bill is the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Russo is one of thousands of homeowners in Republican-leaning areas who could be hit by the elimination or reduction of tax breaks for homeowners, a Reuters analysis of federal mortgage and tax data shows, potentially opening those districts to a Democratic challenge in the November 2018 mid-term elections.
The plans are expected to affect mainly the Democratic-leaning “blue states” such as California, New Jersey and New York where homes are expensive, mortgages are huge and state and local taxes tend to be high.
But while these blue states will be hardest hit, county level data also shows there is a significant number of Republican enclaves in districts expected to be hotly contested in next year’s polls that will feel the pain. Republican leaning pockets in blue or swing states, such as Orange County, California, or Loudoun County, Virginia, tend to have high property values – and thus the higher mortgages.Many of these areas also tend to have higher state and local income taxes.
That concern is felt on the ground too. Will Estrada, chairman of the Republican party in Loudoun County, said he firmly believed the tax plan would deliver savings to most people. But he said that if Democrats are right and many middle class voters face higher bills, “the GOP is going to be toast in 2018.”