With the House set to vote on the tax reform bill this week and concerns about it adding $1 trillion to the National Debt, Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin is confident the economic growth the bill provides will cover that.
The Senate bill would eliminate a taxpayer's ability to deduct state income taxes and local property taxes.
Ireland was one of the 30 people gathered outside the fire hall to protest the tax reform plan.
"Everyone needs to be heard from, and this tax bill is not going to help the middle class", Barnegat resident Marianne Clemente said.
The House and Senate versions would eliminate deductions for state and local income taxes and sales taxes paid.
The administration couldn't have chosen a New Jersey venue more solidly Republican than this Ocean County shore town, in a county where all but one of 33 towns chose Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a margin of more than 2-to-1. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3rd) hosted the two at an invitation-only talk at the Bayville Volunteer Fire Company.
"Without his voice, I don't know whether it would be here or not", Christie said. The event came the same day Democratic Gov. -elect Phil Murphy held an event in Newark with Democratic lawmakers to criticize the plan.
Mnuchin said it's the biggest tax break for small businesses in approximately 80 years. "I have lived in the high-tax states of the world, NY and California, so I can understand life in New Jersey".
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"The code has become so complex", Ivanka Trump said.
"Representative, I have a question", the woman called out as Trump expressed her gratitude for MacArthur's hospitality.
Mnuchin went on to describe how the corporate tax cut will be beneficial to the economy. It's got to be fair, it's got to be more transparent and it's got to be simpler.
In high-tax states, including New York, New Jersey and California, the Senate plan would hit some taxpayers harder than others by eliminating all state and local tax deductions, a cut created to provide revenue that would offset the deep tax-rate cuts that have been proposed. Leonard Lance and Frank LoBiondo have said they don't support the legislation under consideration in the House, which would cap the property-tax deduction at $10,000 and allow no deductions for state income taxes.
"For people who make $1 million in high-tax states, there will be a tax increase", Mnuchin said.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat who represents parts of northern New Jersey's wealthy Bergen County, said his constituents would see tax hikes.
Mr. Mnuchin, a former resident of California and NY who said his first job was at his grandfather's glass bottle manufacturing factory in New Jersey, said he understands the plight of residents in highly taxed states. "What is that about?"