Miami Rep. Curbelo's Wife Owns Assets That Benefit From GOP Tax Bill's Last-Minute Provision

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Ever since Republican Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo voted this year for the so-called "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," the much-maligned tax overhaul that cuts taxes for the country's wealthiest people while doing relatively squat for the poor (and undermining the Affordable Care Act), he has repeatedly called the bill a measure that will "make American families more prosperous."

That's debatable, but there is at least one family the bill will almost surely help — the Curbelos.

According to state and federal records, Curbelo's wife, Cecilia, owns a company called "Capitol Gains, LLC," an which controls three smaller companies. According to Curbelo's latest financial disclosure, Capitol Gains earns between "$100,000 to $1 million" per year. State records show the LLC is incorporated at the home she and the congressman share in Kendall.

But one of the major provisions in the new tax bill will let Cecilia Curbelo deduct a larger chunk of the profits she makes from the LLC from her taxes. Depending on how much money the LLC makes, this could amount to extra tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the congressman.

Cecilia Curbelo's LLC is what's known in financial circles as a "pass-through" company — that is, it "passes" profits directly from the business onto its owner, as opposed to going through shareholders or into a corporation. Many businesses are incorporated this way — Republicans included new tax-breaks for "pass-through" owners, who they claim are mostly the middle-class.

The provision was infamously inserted into the bill at the absolute last-minute, after both the House and Senate had voted on the act.

Under the new law, pass-through owners will be able to deduct 20 percent of their profits from their taxes — so long as the company pulls in less than $315,000 annually. If profits clear that threshold, owners can still deduct money, but the rules become far more complicated.

In reality, most pass-through owners are fairly well-off: Critics of the measure told Reuters Wednesday that they expect the new benefits for pass-through owners to mostly help wealthy Americans, including real-estate investors like Trump himself.

According to Curbelo's federal financial disclosure, Capitol Gains LLC is listed as an "investment holding company," which contains assets from former "media and public relations" investments. Spokespeople for Curbelo did not respond to calls and emails from New Times yesterday to explain what the holdings include or whether Curbelo feels that voting on the bill presented any sort of conflict of interest.

Other lawmakers have been rightfully whacked for voting for the tax bill without mentioning that the measure will make them waterfalls of money in the future: Sen. Bob Corker, who was previously aligned against the bill, ultimately voted for the measure. Political observers thought the move was odd — until the International Business Times broke news that Corker would benefit greatly from the new benefits given to pass-through business owners.

Neither of Curbelo's Republican compatriots in the House from Miami — Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart — appear to own similar assets that would benefit from the tax plan. Both still voted for the measure anyhow.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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