TAX PLAN TALK — State Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica, discusses the potential elimination of the State And Local Tax deduction from federal taxes and what he says that would mean for residents in the 22nd congressional district. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)

Brindisi rails against tax plan; Tenney fires back on spending

Published Nov 13, 2017 at 4:00pm

State Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica, held a press conference this morning at the State Office Building in Utica today, where he took aim at a Republican tax reform plan, which includes the elimination of the federal State And Local Tax deduction.

Brindisi said the elimation of the so-called SALT deduction would have a negative impact on middle class residents in the Mohawk Valley.

The elimination of the SALT deduction would correspond with an increase in the standard deduction — the plan calls for nearly doubling the standard deduction used by most average Americans to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families, and increasing the per-child tax credit.

The increased standard deduction, proponents say, would in mahy instances more than offset the impact of the elimination of the SALT deduction.

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives proposed eliminating the SALT deduction on Sept. 27 as part of their federal tax reform. The SALT deduction began in 1913, when taxpayers were allowed to deduct what they had paid in state and local taxes from their federal taxes. The goal of SALT was to prevent double taxation, by having taxpayers not pay the federal government for services provided by state and local entities.

An estimated 44 million Americans claim this deduction, 86 percent of whom earn less than $200,000 per year. If the SALT deduction is eliminated homeowners in New York will see an estimated average tax increase of $6,167 in 2018 and up to $6,767 by 2022, opponents of the plan say. For most, proponents say, that is less than the increase in the standard deduction.

Local federal tax increases

In his comments against the tax plan, Brindisi cited figures included in a release by the group Americans Against Double Taxation. The release claims that in the 22nd Congressional District, which includes Oneida and Madison counties and part of Herkimer County, has 62,530 taxpayers who receive the SALT deduction, and the average deduction per household is $10,766.

The release claims single filers in the district would see an average increase of $469 per year with the highest increase at $1,486; married couples with children would see an increase of $463 with the highest increase set at $1,098 if the SALT deduction is eliminated. It did not address whether any taxpayers would ultimately benefit from the increase in the standard deduction.

“It is unacceptable for our elected representatives to give corporations and the wealthiest Americans an enormous tax cut on the backs of middle-claw families and school children. Our Congressional delegation must vote against any tax bill that phishes hardworking New Yorkers,” Brindisi said.

Tenney responds

Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-22, said she has worked to keep the SALT deduction in the federal proposal. In June, Tenney wrote to Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, urging the administration to reconsider the proposed elimination of SALT.

“Claudia Tenney is working hard to protect the SALT deduction,” Tenny spokesman Tim Edson said.

On her website, tenney.house.gov, Tenney uses Tax Policy Center estimates which show that New York State residents claim an average of $21,038 in state and local taxes on their federal returns.

Additional reports show that the loss of the SALT deduction would cost New Yorkers an average of $4,500 more per year, for a total tax increase of $14.8 billion. In a statement her office blamed state government for overtaxing state residents and failing to provide any relief to taxpayers.

“Claudia Tenney understands that Gov. Cuomo and Assemblyman Brindisi will never reduce the tax burden. If anything, they’ll make the tax burden even worse, making the SALT deduction even more critical for New York families,” Edson said.