NYCOM Condemns Washington GOP’s Tax Reform

December 6, 2017

ALBANY, NY – NYCOM, the New York State Conference of Mayors, issued the following statement:

Coalition of Local Governments, Schools, and Realtors Urging New York’s
Congressional Delegation to Oppose Tax Reforms that Overtax NYers
The associations representing New York State’s schools, local governments, and realtors
today applauded New York’s Congressional Members who voted no on the Federal
Budget Resolution that narrowly passed in the House of Representatives, and renewed
their request that the State’s delegation oppose cutting or weakening the State and Local
Tax (SALT) deduction as congress continues to negotiate the terms of federal tax
reform.
The House of Representatives voted by a 216-212 margin to adopt a budget resolution,
clearing the way for action on a tax reform bill. Several Republican members of the New
York delegation opposed the budget resolution to protest plan to eliminate or alter the
SALT deduction. Representatives Donovan, Faso, Katko, King, Stefanik, Tenney, and
Zeldin voted no on the budget resolution.
Nearly 96 percent of federal income tax itemizers utilize the state and local tax (SALT)
deduction. In 2015, over 3.3 million households in New York State claimed the SALT
deduction, at the highest average of any state in the nation at around $24,000. In
addition, a recent study by PwC commissioned by the National Association of Realtors
found that homeowners with AGI between $50,000 and $200,000 would see an
average annual tax increase of $815 if the deduction for state and local taxes is
eliminated, even when paired with a doubling of the standard deduction.
The SALT deduction for federal income tax purposes has been a part of the tax code
since its official inception in 1913, and even earlier with the precedent set by President
Lincoln and the Civil War income tax. The deduction was one of the six original federal
tax deductions because it represents a core principle of federalism in that it prevents
double taxation since state and local taxes are mandatory payments.
In light of its anticipated impact on New York State tax filers, the respective leaders
from New York State are asking the congressional delegation to continue opposing
efforts to eliminate or weaken the SALT deduction as they consider the overall federal
tax reform package.
Onondaga County Executive Joannie Mahoney, President of the New York
State County Executives Association said:
“Clearly, our congressional members understand that cutting the SALT deduction would
have a direct and negative impact on our homeowners and local governments. Today we
ask them to hold firm to their convictions and oppose weakening the SALT deduction in
future negotiations and votes.”
Peter A. Baynes, Executive Director of the New York State Conference of
Mayors said:
“Any narrowing of the SALT deduction would mean higher taxes for New Yorkers, cause
fiscal stress on local governments, and further spur the fleeing of taxpayers out of our
state. Mayors across New York urge our congressional delegation to reject any tax
reform plan that attacks the SALT deduction and double-taxes New Yorkers.”
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, President of the New York State
Association of Counties said:
“Eliminating the SALT deduction would be double taxation. Our homeowners would be
taxed at the local and state levels, and then forced for the first time in the nation’s
history to pay federal taxes on the state and local taxes they already paid. We appreciate
our congressional members who are standing up for our residents, and against cutting
SALT.”
Timothy G. Kremer, Executive Director of the New York State School
Boards Association said:
“Since the introduction of New York’s local property tax cap six years ago, school boards
have been very responsible in keeping their tax levies at or below the cap. However, the
loss of the federal SALT deduction would unfairly punish school boards—and could
reduce educational opportunities for students as taxpayers withdraw their support of
public schools.”
Gerry Geist, Executive Director of the Association of Towns of the State of
New York said:
“Thank you to the many New York representatives who stood up for New Yorkers today
by voting no on the budget bill. These proposed measures to eliminate the SALT
deduction will drive residents out of New York State, as the costs will be too much for
many to bear. The elimination of these property tax deductions not only subjects New
Yorkers to double taxation, but severely impacts the ability of Americans to afford
homeownership and access to crucial services, like education, clean drinking water and
public safety.”
Duncan MacKenzie, CEO of the 56,000 member New York State
Association of REALTORS said:
“Thank you to Reps. Donovan, Faso, Katko, King, Stefanik, Tenney and Zeldin who
stood up for all of New York and against their house leadership during today’s budget
resolution vote. From all of the information we have thus far, the resolution passed
today sets in motion tax changes that will disproportionately burden New York
taxpayers and homeowners. We can only hope that fairness to all Americans, including
New Yorkers, will guide Congress as it moves forward with tax reform.”