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Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola welcomes guest to the opening of the Action Park in Di Giorgio Park in Arvin. The new skate park will give young people in the community a place for healthy social activities.

Henry A. Barrios/The Californian

We were promised big tax cuts and real reform. From President Donald Trump saying that “everybody is getting a tax cut, especially the middle class,” to Rep. David Valadao writing that the House-passed tax plan represents “real relief for families,” to Rep. Kevin McCarthy going on national television to proclaim that the tax plan will “benefit all hardworking Americans,” our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. set an extraordinarily high bar for themselves.

Unfortunately, the sweeping bill that was passed [last week] doesn’t even come close. It’s clear that the GOP tax plan not only failed to live up to the promises made, but will actively hurt millions of Californians. House and Senate Republicans supported legislation that will cut taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, while leaving working families to shoulder the bill. As mayor of Arvin, I am extremely worried that the Republican tax bill will make life harder – not easier – for residents of Arvin and around the Central Valley.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives — including Rep. Valadao, Rep. McCarthy, and other California Republicans — voted on the final tax plan put forth by President Donald Trump and Congressional Republican leadership that forced working families to pay for tax cuts for corporations and America’s wealthiest individuals and will explode the deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion.

And don’t be fooled – this legislation also attacked a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, 1.8 million more Californians will be uninsured in 2025, and 34,900 people in my community and Rep. Valadao’s district will become uninsured.

Although some working- and middle-class households would see tax cuts initially, unlike the corporate cuts, President Trump and congressional Republicans designed them to be temporary. Millions of families across the country will see tax increases as the cuts expire. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy found that under the Senate bill, more than 4.4 million Californians in the bottom 60 percent of the income distribution would see their taxes increase by an average of $110 in 2027.

At the same time, a key Senate law requires cuts to certain programs equivalent to the increase in the deficit. Almost $19 billion in important agricultural programs are in the bulls eye of these cuts just for next year.

Arvin is primarily an agricultural-based economy, and if proposed budget cuts are left unaddressed, programs that encourage water conservation, help farmers generate demand and export their products to both domestic and international markets would directly impact my constituents and threaten Arvin’s economic growth, while disrupting the American food supply.

And after that, we can expect congressional Republicans to use the deficit that they’ve just made worse as an excuse to address the programs that ensure basic living standards for Californians. These programs include essentials like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Meals on Wheels.

The Republican tax legislation is morally reprehensible. Trading tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations in exchange for tax increases on middle- and working-class Californians, coupled with budget cuts to essential programs that benefit millions of Californians will cause irreversible damage to communities like Arvin.

Jose Gurrola is mayor of the city of Arvin.