U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and Rep. Peter King (R-Massapequa) announced legislation to repeal the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions on Monday, describing the current limit as “devastating” to Long Islanders.
Known as the King-Suozzi bill, H.R. 257 was introduced on Jan. 4 and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. It would “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the limitation on deduction for state and local taxes, and for other purposes,” according to the U.S. Congress website.
A full text of the bill is not yet available.
The state and local tax deduction, or SALT, had been in place since 1913 and allowed taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes from their federal tax bill if they itemize deductions.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by a Republican majority in late 2017, increased the standard tax deduction families could take, but eliminated personal exemptions and limited deductions for state, local and property taxes to $10,000. The change took effect in 2018.
“The tax bill was a punch in the gut for Long Islanders, and all New Yorkers, who already subsidize other states by paying more in taxes than we receive back from the federal government,” Suozzi said. “The limitation of this critical deduction has resulted in a devastating tax increase from the middle class.”
According to a joint statement issued by the congressmen, almost half of all tax filers in their districts claimed deductions worth nearly $20,000.
Specifically in the 3rd Congressional District, which spans the North Shore, Suozzi said 43 percent of households claim the deduction at an average rate of $18,300.
Many officials on the North Shore expressed alarm about the tax bill before it came law, suggesting it will mean higher taxes, lower home values and amount to “double taxation.”
Some villages passed resolutions formally stating their opposition to the bill, while a few others like Old Westbury and Kings Point considered allowing residents to make charitable donations to get the benefit of a tax credit.
“This is an existential issue for Long Island. There is no Republican or Democratic position,” said Kyle Strober, the executive director of the real estate advocacy group Association for a Better Long Island. “It is about the survival of Long Island’s middle class which sorely depends on this exemption to make ends meet.”