How Harry Reid’s Last Act as Majority Leader Directly Benefited His State


Written by Melissa Quinn

In his final move as majority leader, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) ushered through a series of tax breaks that directly benefit residents of his home state of Nevada.

Called tax extenders, the package retroactively renews expired tax breaks, including a state sales tax deduction and the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.

The U.S. Senate passed the tax bill 76-16 earlier this week—the last legislation it would vote on before the end of the 113th Congress and Reid’s tenure as majority leader.

The inclusion of two provisions were beneficial to both Reid’s home state and Florida, states without a state income tax and where residents were hit hard by the housing market crash.

The state sales tax deduction allows Nevada residents to deduct state and local taxes.

In addition, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act relieves homeowners from paying taxes on forgiven debt.

Reid touted his work in pushing through the tax extenders legislation in a press release Wednesday, saying his position as Democratic leader helped him deliver “on a number of priorities to grow Nevada’s economy.”

“These deductions will save Nevada families and taxpayers millions of dollars and are important to renew as our state’s economic and housing security continue to recover,” the majority leader said. “I will continue to ensure these tax cuts are protected for Nevada.”

The senator’s office did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

The tax extenders received criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, but Heritage Foundation tax and economic policy expert Curtis Dubay said the legislation was a “mixed bag of sound policies and policies that Congress should have abolished long ago.”

“Given the desire of the Senate and President Obama to retain the unjustified policies, a one-year extension is sensible because it prevents a tax hike and keeps in place many policies necessary for a better functioning tax system,” he said.

Reid’s pronounced devotion to continue delivering legislation that directly benefits his state comes just one week after Republican U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma delivered a farewell speech warning senators to heed their oath of office.

“It’s nice to be able to do things for your state, but that isn’t our charge,” he told his fellow senators. “Our charge is to protect the future of our country by upholding the U.S. Constitution and ensuring the liberty that’s guaranteed there is protected and preserved.”

This article was originally posted at The Daily Signal website.