Congressional Republicans, including the man who represents Livingston County, rolled out their proposal to overhaul the U.S. tax code Thursday.

The plan would sharply lower rates for corporations and reduce personal taxes for many with fewer deductions for home-buyers and families with steep medical bills. Democrats attacked the proposal as the GOP’s latest bonanza for the rich, with a phase-out of the inheritance tax and repeal of the alternative minimum tax on the highest earners, which they say is certain to help President Trump and members of his family and Cabinet, among others.

However, Congressman Mike Bishop, the Rochester Hills Republican who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said he hopes Democrats don't put "politics above the people" when considering the tax plan and will enter the legislation’s markup process in good faith. “I’ve been meeting with hardworking taxpayers for months about the need for a fairer, simpler tax code, and this is absolutely something our communities want us to get done. Today is just the start, and the legislative process will work itself out – transparency included.”

But the discontent seems to cross party lines as some Republicans and business groups have expressed concerns with the bill’s impact. Among them is the National Association of Realtors, a reliably Republican-friendly organization that came out strongly against the plan saying it would nullify the homeownership incentive for all but the top 5% of tax filers, essentially taking, “homeownership off the table for millions of middle-class families.” In fact, the group has created a website specifically targeting Congressman Bishop that says “Tell Congressman Mike Bishop: Don't let tax reform become a tax increase for middle class homeowners.” It then includes a link to sign the Homeowner Bill of Rights Petition.

When asked about the opposition already mounting against the tax plan, Bishop’s Communications Director Kelli Ford said, “Special interests will have their own concerns, but this is about creating a fairer, simpler tax code for everyone. Families and job creators will see lower tax rates across the board. That's the ultimate goal, and we feel that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will deliver on that for all Americans.” A two-page document from the House Ways & Means Committee highlighting the main points of the bill is available through the link below. (JK)