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Trump tells sweltering rally in Nevada he won’t tax tips

REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID
                                Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

REUTERS/RONDA CHURCHILL
                                A Trump flag is shown on a supporter’s car in a parking lot near a rally for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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REUTERS/RONDA CHURCHILL

A Trump flag is shown on a supporter’s car in a parking lot near a rally for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump in Las Vegas, Nevada.

REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID
                                Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
REUTERS/RONDA CHURCHILL
                                A Trump flag is shown on a supporter’s car in a parking lot near a rally for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Trump holds sweltering outdoor rally in Nevada

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told a rally in Las Vegas today that he would seek to end taxation of income from tips, a direct appeal to service workers in the swing state of Nevada, which polls suggest is leaning his way ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

The pledge, revealed at a sweltering outdoor rally in Las Vegas, adds one more detail to a Trump tax plan that has included vague pledges of tax relief to middle-income workers and small businesses.

“So this is the first time I’ve said this, and for those hotel workers and people that get tips you’re going to be very happy because when I get to office, we are going to not charge taxes on tips people (are) making,” Trump told a crowd of several thousand people.

Trump said he would “do that right away, first thing in office,” and noted in prepared remarks that he would seek legislation in Congress to make the change. “You do a great job of service, you take care of people and I think it’s going to be something that really is deserved.”

Trump has previously pledged to make permanent the Republican-passed individual tax cuts that he signed into law in 2017 but which expire at the end of 2025. Tax experts estimate that doing so would raise U.S. deficits by some $4 trillion over a decade compared to current forecasts.

As current law requires, tipped employees must report their tips as income. Eliminating this would add further to deficits without new revenues elsewhere.

Trump’s Democratic opponent, President Joe Biden, has pledged to maintain Trump’s tax cuts for households earning under $400,000 a year, but wants to substantially raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on large corporations.

The Las Vegas speech was Trump’s first large-scale rally since a New York jury found him guilty on May 30 of falsifying documents to cover up a payment to a porn star on the eve of the 2016 election, making him the first former U.S. president convicted of a crime.

Trump also continued to hammer Biden on illegal immigration at the southern border, a theme emphasized at a town hall in Arizona, another battleground state, telling supporters there about his plans to curb illegal immigration and blaming issues at the southern border on Biden.

The rally took place amid blistering heat that reached 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Alex Maldonado, a 50-year-old father of three, said he was worried about the heat but wanted to come out to support Trump, for whom he plans to vote a third time. He said he feels Biden has failed in handling inflation, the southern border and crime.

“I tried to give him (Biden) a chance in 2020,” said Maldonado, a military veteran who works security at a Las Vegas casino. “But everything in life has been made harder.”

For days, Las Vegas residents have been coping with unusually high temperatures, part of a heatwave scorching the U.S. Southwest. The National Weather Service lifted its excessive heat warning for the area, however, on Saturday evening prior to the event.

In addition to the misting machines, the campaign has set up cooling stations. At Trump’s event on Thursday, several people who had lined up outside in extreme heat had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

SWING STATES

Nevada is one of six or seven swing states likely to determine the election. A Fox News survey conducted after the guilty verdict showed Trump ahead of Biden in Nevada by five percentage points, an advantage roughly in line with an average of polls over time compiled by poll tracking website FiveThirtyEight.

Rebecca Gill, a political science professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said she was skeptical that polls were fully capturing where voters will be in a few months, given that many are not yet paying attention to the race.

Gill said she did not think Trump’s criminal conviction has fully sunk in with voters and could deter some moderate Republicans from backing him. In addition, a proposed amendment to enshrine access to abortion in the state constitution would, if it makes it onto the ballot, likely boost Democratic turnout.

“I think that (Nevada) is 100% still in play,” Gill said.

Sunday’s rally comes on the heels of a three-day fundraising push by Trump that included stops in San Francisco and Beverly Hills, where he raised millions of dollars from technology executives and other donors.

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