Trump showcases Hoosiers in tax reform speech

By Adrianna Pitrelli

INDIANAPOLIS — President Donald Trump called for bipartisan support of his tax reform plan, and he showed Hoosiers how it would help them.

A small business owner who wants lower corporation taxes so he can hire more people.

“When he cuts taxes on corporations, my business will be better out because I can pay people higher rates and get more quality employees,” said Jay Chu, owner of American Premier Meat.

President Donald Trump called on bipartisan support for his tax reform plan which would cut taxes for the middle class. He specifically called on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. Photo by Adrianna Pitrelli,

An attorney who would like to see a tax cut for the middle class.

“The things I’ve heard are excellent and they’ll help every day people because those are the ones who need it the most,” said Larry Furnas, attorney at Furnas and Associates in Indianapolis.

A farmer who wants to do away with the estate tax so he doesn’t have to sell assets in order to continue the farm into the next generation.

“My farm is an example of many family farms that could suffer the death tax,” said Kip Tom, owner of Tom Farms in Leesburg.

Three Hoosiers from three different walks of life traveled to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Wednesday to support Trump’s overhaul on tax code and cuts for businesses and individuals.

“We are going to cut taxes for the middle class, make it simpler and more fair for Americans and bring back jobs,” Trump said at Wednesday’s speech to about 350 people at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The proposal includes cutting the corporate and individual tax rates and creating a new top rate for small businesses that is lower than the top rate for individuals.

Instead of seven, the individual tax rates would have three brackets — 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. Income levels for the brackets were not announced. People who currently pay 10 percent may not owe taxes if the new plan unveils because the standard deduction would nearly double from $6,350 to $12,000, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples

“We will cut taxes for these hardworking Americans,” Trump said. “They will be taxed at a rate of zero so they can spend more money on their families.”

Trump stressed he didn’t have millionaires in mind when writing the proposal.

“We are focused on the middle class, not the highest income earners,” Trump said.

With hopes of keeping jobs in America, Trump plans to cut the tax rates for companies. The plan imposes a lower tax on corporate profits that are overseas and would create a new tax structure for American businesses that are working overseas.

The corporation tax would be reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent and for five years companies could pay even less if they write off their investments.

“That would be great for us because we have to buy a lot of supplies to pack and ship our meat and would benefit from writing off our investments in the supplies,” Chu said.

Trump also plans to get rid of estate tax, or death tax, which is said to harm small business owners who want family members to continue the business after death, like Toms who is a corn, soybean and seed grower.

“Farmers have wonderful farm but can’t pay the tax so they have to sell it and people don’t take care of it with love,” Trump said. “Death tax is a disaster for this country and the small business owners and families.”

While Trump’s speech outlined ways he would help Hoosiers, he also called on support from Democrats, including Sen. Joe Donnelly.

“Members of both parties should agree that we need a tax code that keeps jobs in our country and brings jobs back to our country,” Trump said. “Tax reform does not have to be a partisan issue. I really think we will have numerous Democrats come over and sign.”

Donnelly, a moderate-Democrat who is up for reelection in 2018, traveled to Indiana with Trump Wednesday and has attended numerous bipartisan dinners. Vice President Mike Pence called Donnelly out asking for his support at a rally in Anderson last Friday.

“If Sen. Donnelly doesn’t approve, we will come here and campaign against him,” Trump said.

Donnelly responded in a statement following Trump’s speech saying he works for Hoosiers, not the president or a political party.

“As it stands, the framework released today is missing many details that will be critical to determining whether working and middle class families truly stand to benefit,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly said he will work with the Senate and the White House to craft a tax reform bill that will provide jobs and economic security.

There is no current legislation written, but Trump said he hopes to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to get a detailed bill written and passed by the end of the year. 

Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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