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Today is Tax Day, the deadline for American families to submit their 2017 tax returns. Montanans have sent millions of their hard-earned dollars to Washington, D.C. This year, though, there’s good news: today marks the last day of filing your taxes under our old, unfair and burdensome tax code! Thanks to historic tax cuts passed by Congress at the end of last year, the curtain is finally closing on our burdensome tax code and the stage has been set for a 21st century tax system that is already growing paychecks and jobs in our state.

A year from now, Montanans will file their taxes, for the first time, under the new tax system Congress approved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This once-in-a-generation tax cuts bill doubles the standard deduction, doubles the child tax credit and lowers rates across the board. The tax cuts promote Main Street business growth and sets up American businesses to compete and win across the globe. Estimates have shown that Montanans will see an average tax cut of $1,600 and, overall, over $700 million in taxpayer dollars that were headed to Washington will stay in the pockets of Montanans. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act takes a cut of Washington, D.C.’s power and puts it back squarely in the hands of Montanans.

While many of these benefits won’t be fully realized until you file your 2018 tax return next year, many Montanans are already feeling the effects of tax cuts. Folks are seeing more money in their paychecks now that employers have adjusted withholdings to reflect lower rates and many families and businesses are seeing the savings.

Just a few weeks ago, I toured through 26 Montana counties discussing how the tax cuts bill is growing wages, creating jobs and helping small business owners expand and invest in new equipment. From Libby to Roundup and from Chester to Hamilton, it was great to talk with Montanans across our state about the real benefits of tax cuts. Thompson River Lumber in Thompson Falls was able to purchase a new forklift — their first forklift purchase in 19 years. Big Sky Brewing in Missoula is investing their savings from tax cuts in new equipment and bonuses for their employees. Stricks Ag in Chester toured me through their facility and shared that with savings from tax cuts, their employees are seeing almost $1,000 more in their pockets per year.

When I first ran for Congress, I made my priorities clear: more jobs and less government. Thanks to President Trump and Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, we can all look forward to next year when we file our taxes under a 21st century, pro-growth and pro-jobs tax code. That’s the kind of tax relief Montanans deserve.

This opinion is signed by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana. 

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