Following a week of news regarding pay and benefit increases that have resulted from tax reform, Ivanka Trump said this of Rep. Kristi Noem's work on H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
"As tax reform was being debated, there wasn't a conversation I was in with Kristi that she didn't passionately advocate for working families. Kristi fought hard to secure a doubled Child Tax Credit and to ensure that working families will continue to get a break for child care expenses through the Child and Dependent Care Credit. I'm grateful for Kristi's partnership and friendship and very much enjoyed working with her to achieve major middle income tax relief."-- Ivanka Trump
Noem worked closely with Ms. Trump in the fight for middle-income families. As a result of their efforts, the Child Tax Credit was doubled to $2,000 per child. Additionally, tax reform eliminated the Child Tax Credit's marriage penalty.
The Child and Dependent Care Credit (also referred to as "Child Care Credit") was preserved as a result of Noem's fight too. As such, families can continue to claim up to $3,000 of child care costs per child, receiving a reimbursement of as much as 35 percent of the qualifying expenses.
For families, these credits offer incredible financial benefits. Last week in Brookings, Noem met with young families who would benefit from the provisions. She explained that the newly enacted tax reform package lowers individual tax rates, doubles the Child Tax Credit, and doubles the standard deduction, meaning the first $24,000 a couple makes is now tax free. If the old tax code was in place, a young couple with three children making $78,000 would owe more than $2,600 in taxes for 2018. With tax reform, their tax bill drops to $99 because of these benefits.
In addition to these tax cuts, many families are also benefiting from pay raises and better benefits. This week, South Dakota-based Great Western Bank announced it would increase the company's minimum wage to $15 per hour, offer bonuses, and enhance employees' health care offerings.
Walmart, which employs more than 5,300 people in South Dakota, also announced it would increase its starting wage by $2 per hour, dish out big bonuses, and expand their paid maternity and paternity leave policies.