Deductions for state and local taxes have been around for more than 100 years, and taking that away as part of the GOP’s proposed tax legislation would mean redistributing wealth from states like New York to other places, and Rep. Lee Zeldin said Tuesday he can’t vote for it for that reason.
“I view taking it away as a geographic redistribution of wealth,” the New Yorker told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “You’re taking more money from a place like New York to pay for deeper tax cuts elsewhere.”
He conceded that there are “good things” in the bill, but he must fight for his home district and state, as he can’t expect his colleagues to do that.
“Taking away the state and local tax deduction is a big deal,” said Zeldin. “The medical expense deduction, eliminating that is a big deal for people who count on that as well, to be able to afford some large medical bills. I would love to be able to get to yes, but not on this bill. I’m a ‘no’ to this bill in its current form. When they decided to keep the property tax deduction up to $10,000, that was progress. But just not enough progress for me.”
Zeldin said there was a long meeting Monday night with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, and several New York colleagues, and they are all “talking through” the bill’s limitations.
However, changing the bill is a decision that must not only be made on the House side, but in the Senate as well.
“On the Senate side, they’re proposing to fully eliminate the state and local tax deduction,” said Zeldin. “So what I’m seeing the fight is for is to maintain a $10,000 property tax deduction coming out of conference, not to be fighting for a further protection of just hard working, middle-income, Long Islanders and New Yorkers.”
The elimination of the state and local taxes would mostly impact New England, New York State, Pennsylvania, the Eastern Seaboard states, and California, and Zeldin said that already, his home state already sends more to Washington than it gets in return.
“They also want to be able to finance some really important tax cuts,” said Zeldin. “I mean, there are good aspects of this bill, and when you took out the proposal for the border adjustability tax, that’s over $1 trillion.
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.