10.23.17

SCHUMER, CUOMO JOIN FORCES TO CALL ON NY REPUBLICAN REPS, ESPECIALLY REP. FASO AND REP. STEFANIK TO PROTECT MIDDLE-CLASS HOMEOWNERS BY OPPOSING REPEAL OF STATE & LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION —AND ANY TAX BILL THAT CONTAINS IT; IF ENTIRE NY DELEGATION OPPOSES BILL GUTTING STATE & LOCAL DEDUCTIBILITY, IT WOULD NOT PASS

GOP Is Moving Full Steam Ahead With Tax Proposal That Is Real Danger To New York Homeowners & Middle-Class; Schumer, Cuomo Will Detail How Plan Totally Eliminates New York’s Ability To Claim Significant Deductions On State & Local Taxes (SALT); Property Taxes, Too 

In the Capital Region More Than 29% Residents Use the SALT Deduction With An Average Deduction Worth $12,916 Now At Risk 

Schumer, Cuomo To NY House Members: Block This Gut-Punch To New York’s Middle-Class Families

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today joined homeowners from Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties to launch a statewide push across congressional districts, urging New York’s congressional delegation to stand up for New York’s middle class and oppose the repeal or reduction of state and local tax deductions as the GOP tax plan unfolds and now endangers middle-class homeowners. Schumer, Cuomo urged every New York House member to fight against any effort to repeal or reduce the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which thousands of Upstate New Yorkers rely on. Schumer, Cuomo said that if the GOP tax plan were to pass, many could lose thousands of dollars, for example, the average Capital Region homeowner could lose nearly $13,000 from that single deduction alone.  Schumer, Cuomo pointed out eliminating or reducing the state and local tax deduction would have ripple effects of decreasing home values in the region and placing pressure on state and local governments to reduce their taxes and cut spending on education and their local fire and police departments. 

“Whether the savings from these deductions becomes money for home repairs, groceries, school supplies or even the yearly vacation, it belongs in the pockets of New Yorkers, period,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “These deductions should not be eliminated so people making millions of dollars a year can catch a tax break of their own. It simply makes no sense for Congress to eliminate the SALT deduction, which has helped steady the cost of many middle-class families including those living in the Capital Region–it would be double taxation on the middle class.  Without state and local deductions potential homeowners may look elsewhere which could devastate the New York State including the Capital and North Country economy. So, today, with Governor Cuomo we are calling on every member of Congress from New York: do the right thing and block this gut-punch to New York’s middle-class. In the meantime, I will do everything in my power here in the U.S. Senate to fight this GOP-led effort to end critical mortgage, state and local property tax deductions.”

“While Washington is considering a ‘tax cut’ plan, what it really amounts to is a "tax increase" plan for New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The elimination of State and Local Tax deductibility is a death blow to New Yorkers and our economy. The current plan only makes it possible to cut taxes for other states by using New York and California as the piggybank. Every member of our Congressional delegation must do everything they can to stop this devastating proposal."

Schumer, Cuomo explained that eliminating this deduction would tug on the purse strings of  New Yorkers, for example about a quarter of Capital Region taxpayers, who, on average, claim  $12, 916 in SALT deductions. Nationwide, approximately 44 million Americans take advantage of this deduction and a repeal could result in more than $1 trillion in losses for taxpayers and their local communities. Schumer said that reductions to—or the removing of these sorts of tax deductions—would hit The Capital Region particularly hard. Schumer, Cuomo have pledged to fight any efforts that would rollback critical savings deductions used by New York’s homeowners and taxpayers. 

Largely due to the loss of the SALT deductions, the GOP plan would, in New York, would cause 23 percent of taxpayers making $65,900 to $111,100 to see an average tax increase of $460 and 42 percent of taxpayers making between $111,100 and $240,900 to see an average tax increase of $1,960 next year, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.

 Under the current federal tax system, taxpayers who itemize deductions on their federal income tax returns can deduct state and local real estate and personal property taxes as well as either income taxes or general sales taxes. State and local income and real estate taxes make up approximately  60 percent of local and state tax deductions while sales tax and personal property taxes make up the remainder.

The Republican Tax Reform Framework would eliminate SALT deduction entirely. Currently, 44 million taxpayers, or 1/3 of all taxpayers, across the country take the state and local tax deduction. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center has estimated that the elimination of this deduction would force state and local governments across the country to raise taxes or cut spending by $135 billion per year. The Tax Policy Center says that, under the Republican Tax Reform Framework, taxes would rise for approximately one-quarter of taxpayers, including 30 percent of those with an income between $50,000 and $150,000 and sixty percent of those with an income between $150,000 and $300,000. The increase in taxes on middle-class families would primarily result from the loss of the state and local tax deduction and the personal exemptions under the plan. 

Schumer, Cuomo went on to say that the Tax Policy Center analysis shows that the doubled standard deduction under the Republican Tax Reform Framework would not offset the costs of the loss of the SALT deduction and personal exemptions for many middle-class families. Taxpayers have to choose between the standard deduction or itemized deductions. Under the Republican plan, the loss of the state and local deduction would decrease the value of the average itemized deductions by more than half, far below the doubled standard deduction. Families would be left with choosing between a decreased itemized deduction or the doubled standard deduction and no personal exemptions. For many, especially in high SALT states like New York, this would mean a large tax increase. This tax increase would effectively be used to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 80 percent of the tax breaks in the GOP’s plan would go to the top 1 percent of earners.   

Schumer, Cuomo said that the elimination of these deductions would be detrimental to middle-class families in New York, particularly those in the Capital Region. Across New York, the deduction loss would total about $68 billion per year—that’s $68 billion dollars that state residents will no longer be allowed to deduct from their federal tax returns.

Schumer and Cuomo visited the home of Kathleen and Anthony DiSpirito in Bethlehem.  Anthony is the Director of Pharmacy for Albany Medical Center, and Kathleen is a stay-at-home mom for the couple’s two young boys.   They were joined by Abbe Herzig, a homeowner from West Sand Lake, Rensselaer County.   Abbe is a Statistician for 3M Health Technologies in Albany, and is a single mom of twin 17-year-olds, one of whom is in college.  Also attending was Linda Seeman, a homeowner from Milton, Saratoga County. Linda is a part-time childbirth educator at Ellis Hospital and Albany Medical Center.  She and her husband Joe have 3 grown children and one remaining 17 year old son at home. 

Schumer, Cuomo were also joined by  Duncan MacKenzie, CEO of the NYS Association of Realtors Sam Fresina, President of the NYS Professional Firefighters Association, and City of Albany Firefighters Bob Megel and  Ed Verhoff, as well as Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, Bethlehem Town Supervisor John Clarkson, Senator Neil Breslin, and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.

Duncan MacKenzie, the state Association of Realtors CEO "Home ownership is a keystone to strong societies, a keystone to building personal wealth. Anything to take away from that that’s irrational, which this really seems to be, doesn’t make any sense. We support efforts to reform the federal tax code to create a more simplified and fair system, but eliminating the deduction of state and local taxes, including property taxes, will only serve to hurt New Yorkers disproportionately compared to other states.”

Congressional District

Percentage Of Individuals Using SALT Deduction

Average Salt Deduction*

1 Rep. Lee Zeldin

46%

$17,686

2 Rep. Peter King

48%

$20,111

 3 Rep. Thomas Suozzi

43%

$18,386

4 Rep. Kathleen Rice

50%

$23,361

5 Rep. Gregory Meeks

40%

$18,995

6 Rep. Grace Meng

30%

$10,929

7 Rep. Nydia Velázquez

34%

$34,479

8 Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

28%

$12,860

9 Rep. Yvette Clarke

27%

$14,585

10 Rep. Jerrold Nadler

36%

$41,978

11 Rep. Daniel Donovan Jr.

36%

$13,769

12 Rep. Carolyn Maloney

34%

$34,479

13 Rep. Adriano Espaillat

34%

$44,411

14 Rep. Joe Crowley

25%

$9,698

15 Rep. José Serrano

21%

$7,954

16 Rep. Eliot Engel

34%

$24,678

17 Rep. Nita Lowey

45%

$26,243

18 Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

43%

$21,571

19 Rep. John Faso

31%

$12,501

20 Rep Paul Tonko

33%

$14,384

21 Rep. Elise Stefanik

23%

$11,865

22 Rep Claudia Tenney

23%

$10,766

23 Rep Tom Reed

22%

$11,716

24 Rep. John Katko

29%

$12,140

25 Rep. Louise Slaughter

33%

$12,896

26 Rep. Brian Higgins

27%

$12,083

27 Rep. Chris Collins

29%

$12,125

* prepared by the Government Finance Officers Association using 2015 IRS data

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