Washington — Tax reform is about to take shape.
In the coming weeks, a flurry of legislation will be debated and signed into law, from a new tax credit to a new income tax rate.
But for those living in the most economically distressed areas of the country, the impact of these tax changes will be felt most acutely.
The White House and congressional leaders have said they want to help communities struggling with a range of issues, including crime, homelessness, and the opioid epidemic.
But a new report from the Brookings Institution warns that the vast majority of Americans — 88 percent — do not believe the tax changes are going to provide a significant benefit to the vast swath of Americans with the most to lose.
While many of these Americans are struggling to find a job, they are also struggling with the effects of high housing costs, the report said.
This is a population that has experienced a steep drop in housing values, which has pushed them into the ranks of the unemployed and discouraged them from finding jobs.
For example, of those surveyed, 74 percent said they were concerned that the cost of living would make it difficult for them to buy a home.
These Americans are also disproportionately affected by poverty, the study found.
The report also found that those living near the border are most likely to suffer the effects.
About 30 percent of those living close to the border were worried about a decline in housing value and were not able to find affordable housing, the research found.
More than half of these households were experiencing a loss in their home value of at least $300,000.
The Brookings study is based on an analysis of Census Bureau data that shows the percentage of people living in poverty in all 50 states rose from 16.4 percent in 2009 to 20.4% in 2016.
It also examined the impact that the tax reform could have on the economy and found that the largest impact would be to the middle class.
According to the report, the tax cuts will help lower- and middle-income Americans.
But those in the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution, where households make less than $18,000 a year, will most likely suffer.
In contrast, middle-class Americans living near cities like San Francisco and New York, where median household income is $83,000, will be hit the hardest.
The Brookings report found that while more than 70 percent of these families live in urban areas, the majority live in rural areas and are poorer than the national average.
The study also found there is little chance that tax cuts are going out to the poorest people, as most of them live in low-income communities.
The median income for people living near major metropolitan areas is $58,000 while the median income in the nation’s poorest communities is $31,000 — and even in the poorest of the poor communities, only 4.5 percent of people live in poverty, according to the study.
The majority of the people who lived near the nation has been affected by the recession, with almost half living in cities and the majority in rural and suburban areas.
The report also notes that people in the lower-income group tend to be more likely to have low-paying jobs, which is likely to lead to the effects in rural communities.
The analysis also shows that many people living close by are also likely to experience economic hardship, with some estimates suggesting that over a third of all Americans who live near major cities would be impacted by the tax cut.
In some communities, people living closer to the coast have been affected more than others, with many areas suffering from the loss of jobs.
The number of Americans affected by these changes will vary from place to place, the Brookings study found, but it estimates that a majority of low- and moderate-income people will be affected.
For instance, the poorest 10 percent would experience the biggest loss in income, while the richest 10 percent will see their income drop by more than $6,000 from $57,000 to $26,000 over a decade.
The tax cuts would be particularly beneficial to lower- to middle-wage earners.
The study found that by 2027, nearly one in five households making between $15,000 and $19,000 will be able to receive a tax cut, while a similar percentage will be eligible for a tax credit.
The number of people who will be impacted is even larger when looking at people in their 40s and 50s, the analysis found.