Trump Floats Tax-Free Tips in Pitch to Win Las Vegas Workers

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump said he’d scrap taxes on tipped earnings for hospitality workers if he wins the White House, calibrating his message for swing-state voters in Nevada as he fights back after his felony conviction.

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“We’re going to do that right away first thing in office because it’s been a point of contention for years and you do a great job of service — you take care of people,” the former president said at a rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, his first since he was found guilty at his criminal trial in Manhattan.

Trump’s latest tax-cut pledge signaled a bid to appeal to Nevada’s booming service industry dominated by young workers and people of color, two voter groups he’s courting as he heads toward the Republican National Convention in mid-July.

The rally took Trump to a crucial state that President Joe Biden won in 2020, but where the president’s softening support among Black and Hispanic voters threatens to create an opening for Trump.

“For those hotel workers and people that get tips, you’re going to be very happy,” he told the crowd. “Because when I get to office, we are going to not charge taxes on people making tips.”

A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll in May found support for Trump and Biden tied at 47% in Nevada. Trump led Biden by 48% to 44% among voters across seven swing states, including Nevada, that are likely to determine the outcome of the election.

The Culinary Union, which represents workers in the hospitality industry, derided Trump’s pledge. While relief is needed for tip earners, there’s a “difference between real solutions and wild campaign promises from a convicted felon,” Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement.

The presumptive Republican nominee has stepped up campaigning after the New York trial largely kept him tied up in court, holding a town hall in battleground Arizona on Thursday and doing televised interviews. That follows a scaled-back campaign stretch with fewer rallies to preserve a war chest hit hard by legal fees.

Earlier: Trump Guilty Verdict Adds Twist to 2024 Race: A Convicted Felon

As a convicted felon running for president, Trump has thrust US politics into uncharted waters after a jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide a hush-money payment to an adult film actress. He still faces three other criminal trials, but those are unlikely to take place before the general election in November.

(Updates with union reaction in seventh paragraph.)

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