‘Feels like a scam’: Taxpayers furious at Trump after refunds dwindle following GOP overhaul
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks briefly to the news media after leaving closed House GOP conference meeting with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (Photo: Reuters/Leah Mills)

The average tax refund is down about 8 percent compared to last year, and voters are angry at President Donald Trump and Republicans.

GOP lawmakers passed a tax reform bill in December 2017, and the early results of that overhauled system shows the average refund check has dropped by $170, and nearly a quarter fewer taxpayers received a refund so far, reported the Washington Post.

“It totally feels like a scam,” said John Prugh, a Barnes & Noble manager from New Jersey. “I did still get a small refund, but compared to what I was expecting from previous years, it was shock.”

The 39-year-old Prugh, who did not vote for Trump, found his refund would be $3,000 less than last year, even though he and his wife have lived in the same house for years and saw no significant changes in their income.

The vast majority of Americans did receive a tax cut in 2018, but average refunds are lower because the GOP tax bill changed some tax deductions and the IRS has changed withholding in paychecks.

“I am really frustrated with my refund this year," said Sal Ramirez, a packaging designer from California. "I was expecting good chunk of change. I was going to put it toward buying a car."

The 20-year-old Ramirez was refunded only $900 this year, after receiving $1,200 last year, almost certainly due to changes to withholding tables.

Prugh, whose overall tax bill was higher and his withholding apparently lower, was hit by changes in state and local tax deductions, and the elimination of deductions for mileage -- and he can't wait to punish Republicans in next year's election.

“I did not vote for Trump,” Prugh said. “As active as I got in the last election cycle and as active as I plan to be in 2020, this put more urgency behind it than almost any other thing that has happened."