April 14, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
Congressman Tom Suozzi, who represents northeast Queens and parts of Long Island, says that he will not back President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan unless it contains a provision that would restore the full deductibility of state and local taxes—known as SALT.
The cap, which was instituted as part of former President Donald Trump’s tax reform measures in 2017, limits SALT deductions to $10,000. Suozzi, a Democrat, calls the limit a “body blow to New York and middle-class families,” many of whom are hit with hefty real estate taxes.
“Without the full SALT deduction, families will continue to leave our state and the last thing we need is to lose our residents and taxpayers,” Suozzi said in a recent statement. “Every day the SALT cap is in place, the taxpayers of New York are hurting.”
While Trump’s tax reforms lowered federal income taxes for many New Yorkers, the new SALT limits have forced about a million New Yorkers to pay significantly more each year, officials estimate.
The SALT deduction is particularly important to residents of states with high state and local taxes—such as New York and New Jersey.
Suozzi was one of seven original sponsors who introduced legislation in the House of Representatives earlier this year seeking to remove the SALT cap. The bill now has 107 sponsors.
Meanwhile, U.S Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both representing New Jersey, have introduced an accompanying bill in the Senate. It has 13 sponsors, including Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Suozzi has tried to repeal the SALT cap before. In 2019, he was one of 218 House representatives who narrowly passed a bill to repeal the cap. The Senate shot down the bill.
But not all Queens Democrats have a history of supporting the full deductibility of SALT.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th District, has come out against it in the past—since the removal of the cap would favor the more affluent. She voted against its repeal in 2019.
Her opposition led to mixed reactions, with The New York Daily News calling her vote a “SALTy betrayal,” while the New York Post said she was “right to stand up to Democratic establishment.”
The office of Ocasio-Cortez declined to comment Tuesday as to whether she would once again oppose the lifting of the SALT cap.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hoping that the SALT cap is repealed, which he said would lesson the blow of the recent tax increases on wealthy New Yorkers that was passed in the state budget.
“When SALT is repealed, the taxes will be going down,” Cuomo said.