Lawmaker to Shame New Yorkers Who Donate to Anti-SALT Candidates

Representative Tom Suozzi, a New York Democrat, said he plans to publish a list of New Yorkers who donate to candidates opposing the removal of a $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions.

The list will include large individual and business donors from New York to members of Congress who oppose repealing the cap on write-offs for state and local taxes, or SALT, Suozzi told reporters Monday. He said he hopes the list will unite New Yorkers behind lawmakers who want to allow taxpayers to write off their entire state and local tax bills.

“No New Yorker should contribute to a politician who is undermining our state,” Suozzi said. “They are funding our own demise.”

Suozzi said the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions, a provision enacted in the 2017 Republican tax law, is spurring businesses and individuals to move out of state, hurting New York’s tax base and influence in Congress. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called Republicans’ inclusion of the SALT cap in their tax bill “economic civil war.”

Lawmaker to Shame New Yorkers Who Donate to Anti-SALT Candidates

The congressman said he was inspired to create the list -- which he said he will draw from quarterly Federal Election Commission fund-raising reports -- after Bloomberg News reported that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was considering moving its asset management business to Florida to save on taxes.

Goldman Report

“Goldman Sachs thinking about leaving New York: that’s a red alert to all of us,” Suozzi said. “Please don’t abandon us during our time of need.”

Since the 2017 overhaul, lawmakers from the high-tax states most affected -- including New York, New Jersey and California -- have vowed to try to repeal the $10,000 cap. They argue that higher incomes and home values in those areas mean some middle class taxpayers are unable to deduct large portions of their state and local liabilities.

House Democrats have voted to repeal the SALT cap, but the legislation has been stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats could potentially seek to address the issue after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, but it would likely require them to get a Senate majority by winning both seats in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff election.

However, the issue is politically tricky for Democrats, because the benefits largely go to the top-earning taxpayers, and Democrats have campaigned on raising taxes for the wealthy. About 52% of the benefit from repealing the cap flows to households earning at least $1 million a year, the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation found.

Jason Furman, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama has called repealing the SALT limitation a “complete waste of money.”

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