County urges Congressional reps to fight to keep tax deductions for state and local taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 October 2017 at 8:28 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature passed a formal resolution on Wednesday opposing a Republican tax proposal to eliminate tax deductions for state and local taxes.

In a state with high property taxes, the deductions can reduce the federal tax owed for property owners.

County Legislator Lynne Johnson, R-Lyndonville, said eliminating the deduction would be a form of double taxing property owners, making them pay their property taxes and then counting those taxes paid as part of a person’s income.

“It’s a double negative,” she said. “This is something we are fighting tooth and nail.”

The County Legislature forwarded copies of the resolution to Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, who is one of President Trump’s close allies in Congress.

“Eliminating the federal deductibility of state and local taxes will imperil the delivery of public services in New York, many of which are mandated by the federal government, and may increase the effective federal income tax rate for many New Yorkers,” according to the county resolution.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer have been railing against the Trump tax plan and the elimination of SALT (state and local taxes) as a deduction.

Cuomo and Schumer on Monday launched a statewide push across congressional districts to urge New York’s delegation “to stand up for this state’s middle class and oppose the repeal or reduction of state and local tax deductions.”

“While Washington is considering a ‘tax cut’ plan, what it really amounts to is a ‘tax increase’ plan for New York,” Governor Cuomo said at an event in front of a home in Albany. “The elimination of State and Local Tax deductibility is a death blow to New Yorkers and our economy. The current plan only makes it possible to cut taxes for other states by using New York and California as the piggybank. Every member of our Congressional delegation must do everything they can to stop this devastating proposal.”

The SALT elimination would raise the average tax bill by $423 for property owners in the state with a household income of $50,000 or less. For household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000, the average tax increase would be $1,299, according to statistics from the governor’s office.

“Whether the savings from these deductions becomes money for home repairs, groceries, school supplies or even the yearly vacation, it belongs in the pockets of New Yorkers, period,” Schumer said. “These deductions should not be eliminated so people making millions of dollars a year can catch a tax break of their own. It simply makes no sense for Congress to eliminate the SALT deduction.”

New York is the highest donor state in the country, sending $48 billion more in tax dollars to the federal government than it receives back in federal spending. Under the Trump and Republican tax plan, the federal government would take even more revenue from the number one giving state, subsidizing every other state in the nation as a result, Cuomo said.

County legislators, in their resolution, said NY congressional representatives should work to prevent the state’s “donor” status from becoming even worse.

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