A Long Island married couple with two children and $92,000 in income can expect to pay about $20,090 in federal taxes in 2017 — but that could change dramatically under proposals made by this year’s presidential candidates.

That household, with the median income in Nassau and Suffolk counties, could pay an average of $5,900 less or $12,160 more — a wide spread that has implications for taxpayers, the size of the federal government and the health of the U.S. economy.

Projections of the impact of the candidates’ plans were developed by former government and other tax experts at the Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C., a nonpartisan group that checked its findings with both Republican and Democratic reviewers.

The center’s estimates are averages for groups of people with similar income, marital status and number of children based on four federal taxes: individual and business income taxes, payroll taxes and excise taxes.

Those tax plans give Long Islanders distinct choices among the five presidential candidates in New York’s Republican and Democratic primaries on April 19 — the day after federal income tax filings are due.

While the plans are mainly campaign statements that won’t be enacted, they do set out the candidates’ visions for sweeping changes to U.S. tax policies, which helped raise $3.2 trillion to pay for $3.6 trillion in federal spending this year.

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“The Republicans are obsessed with tax rate cuts,” said Len Burman, director of the Tax Policy Center, a project of Washington, D.C., think tanks, the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute. “The Democrats want to raise taxes on the top.”

Republican businessman Donald Trump would cut the tax in the top tax bracket to 25 percent from its current 39.6 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) would levy a flat 10 percent income tax and add a 16 percent business and payroll tax. Ohio Gov. John Kasich would lower the top income tax rate to 28 percent.

That would save taxpayers — particularly the wealthy — a lot of money. But federal revenues would shrink over 10 years by an estimated $9.5 trillion under Trump’s plan and $8.7 trillion under Cruz’s, which could lead to deep federal spending cuts or more borrowing.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would hike taxes across the board, but takes aim at those making more than $250,00 with four new brackets and a top tax rate of 52 percent to raise an additional $15.3 trillion over 10 years for universal health care and free college tuition.

Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state and U.S. senator from New York, keeps much current tax policy intact but would make people with incomes of $1 million or more pay at least 30 percent in taxes and add a 4 percent surcharge on incomes of $5 million or more, boosting federal revenue by $1.1 trillion over 10 years.

Long Island’s 1.5 million tax filers generally report higher incomes, more taxable dividends and more mortgage interest deductions than taxpayers in most other parts of New York, Internal Revenue Service data show. What exactly they would pay depends on many variables.

But take that four-member family making $92,000 and paying $20,090 in federal taxes under current tax law.

Under Trump’s plan, people like them would pay an average tax of $14,190, according to the Tax Policy Center estimates.

Under Cruz’s, they would pay about $17,520. Under Clinton’s, $20,140. And under Sanders’, they’d pay $32,250, though they’d no longer pay for employer or individual health insurance.

Those estimates are among the average tax bills for single and married filers with one, two or no children based on a national sample for the entire range of income brackets, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

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Here are key features of each of the presidential candidates’ tax proposals and analyses of those plans by the Tax Policy Center; the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think tank; and Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning group. All are located in Washington.:


Trump said his policies will provide relief for the middle class, simplify the tax code, and grow the U.S. economy but won’t add to the national debt and deficit.

Tax brackets: Collapse the current seven tax brackets, which range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent, into four brackets of 0 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent. The top rate applies to income over $150,000 for single filers or $300,000 for joint filers.

Dividends and capital gains: Tax at a maximum rate of 20 percent. Currently, 2015, ordinary capital gains tax rates range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent, depending on total taxable income.

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Deductions: Raise single-filer standard deduction from $6,300 to $25,000, and for joint filers from $12,600 to $50,000. Eliminate most deductions. Keep them for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

Alternative minimum tax and estate tax: Repeal both.

Affordable Care Act tax: Repeal.

What the experts say:

Tax Policy Center: Middle-income households would get an average tax cut of about $2,700, resulting in a 4.9 percent increase in after-tax income. The top 1 percent of earners would see an average tax cut of about $275,000, or 17.5 percent more in after-tax income.

The Tax Foundation: Plan would result in 11.5 percent growth in gross domestic product and add 5.3 million jobs over the next decade.

Citizens for Tax Justice: 95 percent of taxpayers would lose from about $1,200 to $2,500 due to cutbacks in public services and taxes expected to be restored later to pay for shortfalls in revenue. The top 1 percent would gain $161,740 from tax cuts.


“I am campaigning on a flat tax that would allow every American to fill out his or her taxes on a postcard that allows us to abolish the IRS,” Cruz said last year.

Tax brackets: Create a single flat rate of 10 percent.

New tax: Create a 16 percent broad-based consumption tax, a form of value-added tax on all businesses and payrolls of governments and nonprofits.

Dividends and capital gains: Tax at 10 percent rate.

Deductions: Increase standard deductions for single filers to $10,000 and to $20,000 for joint filers. Eliminate itemized deductions except for charitable contributions and mortgage interest. Retain child tax credit and enhance earned-income tax credit. Add tax deductible contribution of up to $25,000 a year to a universal savings account.

AMT and estate tax: Repeal both.

Affordable Care Act tax: Repeal.

What the experts say:

The Tax Policy Center: Middle-income households would get a tax cut of about $1,800, or 3.2 percent of after-tax income. Top 1 percent would get a tax cut of about $408,000, or 26 percent of after-tax income.

The Tax Foundation: Plan would boost GDP by 13.9 percent and add 4.9 million new jobs over 10 years.

Citizens for Tax Justice: 80 percent of the taxpayers would lose from $4,300 to $6,200 due to cuts in public services and renewed taxes. The top 1 percent would see a gain of $363,700.


Kasich says American taxes are too high and that he would cut and simplify them while launching a top-to-bottom review of the IRS and tax code.

Tax brackets: Collapse seven current brackets into three, with a top rate of 28 percent; other two rates not specified.

Dividends and capital gains: Reduce long-term capital gains rate to 15 percent.

Deductions: Retain deductions for charitable donations and mortgage interest.

AMT and estate tax: Repeal estate tax

Affordable Care Act tax: Not addressed

What the experts say:

All three think tanks said Kasich had not provided enough detail for a substantive analysis.


Clinton promises to give tax relief to middle-class families while making those with higher incomes pay more.

Tax brackets: No change, but establishes a minimum 30 percent tax for income above $1 million and a 4 percent surtax on incomes over $5 million.

Dividends and capital gains: Tax assets held less than two years at regular tax rates as high as 43.4 percent (top 39.6 percent rate with a 3.8 percent net investment income surtax); reduce the rate each additional year the asset is held. After six years, the rate would fall to 23.8 percent.

Deductions: Retain deduction for charitable contributions; limit value of certain deductions to 28 percent. Add refundable credit of up to $5,000 for paying for health care costs that exceed 5 percent of income. Add tax credit to help families pay for care of elders.

AMT and estate tax: Keeps AMT. Reduce the tax threshold for estates to $3.5 million ($7 million for joint filers) and raise the top estate tax to 45 percent, the same estate tax rules that applied in 2009)

Affordable Care Act tax: Keep tax but repeal “Cadillac” tax on high-value health insurance.

What the experts say:

Tax Policy Center: Middle-income households would pay $44 more, or about 0.1 percent of after-tax income. The top 1 percent would pay about $78,000 more, or 5 percent of after-tax income.

The Tax Foundation: Plan would shrink GDP by 1 percent and cost 300,000 new jobs over 10 years.

Citizens for Tax Justice: Plan “would help level the playing field between wealthy investors . . . and everyday Americans” and “would help restore the estate tax’s role in countering wealth inequality.”


“If we are serious about reforming the tax code and rebuilding the middle class, we have got to demand that the wealthiest Americans and large corporations pay their fair share,” Sanders’ tax plan says.

Tax brackets: Create four new tax brackets of 37 percent, 43 percent, 48 percent and 52 percent for income over $250,000. The top rate would apply to incomes of $10 million or more. Raise taxes in other brackets by 2.2 percent to fund “Medicare for All” program.”

Payroll tax: Add new 6.2 percent payroll tax on Medicare paid by employers. Extend Social Security payroll tax to earnings over $250,000. Add 0.2 percent payroll tax on Social Security paid by employers and employees.

Dividends and capital gains: Tax capital gains and dividends for single filers making $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) at ordinary income tax rates. Filers with incomes below those amounts would pay the current tax rate on capital gains and dividends. Tax capital gains at death. Raise net investment income tax rate from 3.8 percent to 10 percent.

Deductions: Limit value of tax deductions and exemptions to 30.2 percent.

AMT and estate tax: Repeal AMT. Lower estate tax exemption to $3.5 million ($7 million for joint filers). Raise top tax rate to 55 percent, add 10 percent surtax on estates over $1 billion and close real estate tax loopholes.

Affordable Care Act tax: Replace with “Medicare for All.”

What the experts say:

Tax Policy Center: Middle-income households would pay about $4,700 more in taxes, or 8.5 percent of after-tax income. The top 1 percent would pay about $525,000 more, or 33.5 percent of after-tax income.

The Tax Foundation: Plan would reduce GDP by 9.5 percent and result in loss of 5.9 million jobs over a decade.

Citizens for Tax Justice: Plan would raise after-tax income from about $1,500 to $4,500 for 95 percent of taxpayers through higher wages by replacing employer-provided health insurance with “Medicare for All.” The top 1 percent would see income drop by $15,980.