Sen. Susan Collins has said she will vote “no” on any tax reform measure that repeals the estate tax and lowers taxes for millionaires. For many constituents, this was wonderful news. Now that the bill has been made public, areas that deserve attention for being particularly egregious are:

Repeal of the estate tax in six years, after doubling it immediately. Right now, the estate tax applies to 0.2 percent of the population, or approximately 5,000 people in the United States. Even 80 percent of the top 1 percent do not have to pay the estate tax! This provision is a blatant gift to the very wealthiest, and repeal would starve the federal government of vitally needed revenue.

Elimination of medical expenses as a deduction. Those paying high premiums, co-pays and deductibles are hurt. Seniors using individual retirement accounts for long-term care get taxed and pushed into higher brackets! Shouldn’t families spending 10 percent of their income on health care get a break like the one for those earning $470,700 to $1 million? Their tax rate declines by 4.6 percent.

Elimination of student loan interest as a deduction. This provision is clearly penalizing the middle class, who are saddled with exorbitant loans at high interest rates. Shameful!

Elimination of flexible spending accounts for dependents. Young families whose child care costs often exceed $1,000 per month would be paying tax on an additional $5,000 per year. Yes, raising the child tax credit and doubling the standard deduction helps, but removing exemptions and removing state and local and student loan interest tax deductions all hurts the middle class.

If we contact our U.S. senators and representative with our own concerns, we can alter the skew of this bill and its breaks toward the wealthy and reallocate them toward the middle class.

Jessica D. Simpson

Cape Elizabeth