Larger state and native tax deductions nonetheless potential as Democrats grapple over spending


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, speaks outside the U.S. Capitol on October 20, 2021.

Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

As the Democrats wrestle over their spending package, key lawmakers are still battling to change the $ 10,000 federal allowance for state and local taxes.

Known as SALT, the move is a priority for lawmakers in high-tax countries such as New York, New Jersey, and California and puts the Democrats’ multi-trillion dollar plan at risk.

The budget can be passed without Republican support. However, the Democrats need votes from almost every member of the House of Representatives and all Democratic senators.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., who met with President Joe Biden and other party centrists on Tuesday, said he emphasized the importance of restoring write-offs to families in his district, among others.

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“I’m working around the clock with my colleagues in the House and Senate to reinstate SALT,” he said. “I continue to have discussions with the White House and leadership to ensure that SALT is included in the final package.”

Rep. Tom Suozzi, DN.Y., a longtime proponent of lifting the SALT cap, also reiterated his commitment to the issue.

“I have spoken to Sen. Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Neal and I am confident that SALT will be included in the final package,” said Suozzi. “The restoration of the SALT withdrawal is essential to the economic health of New York and its middle-class families.”

“No SALT, no deal,” he added.

I have spoken to Sen. Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Neal and I am confident that SALT will be included in the final package.

Representative Tom Suozzi

Democratic Congressman from New York

The move was also a priority for other key lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.

While Pelosi and Schumer are striving to reach an agreement on the budget by the end of the week, changes to the SALT cap are still pending.

Ongoing fight

The SALT limit has been controversial since former President Donald Trump added the limit during his tax reform in 2017.

Now, Americans itemizing deductions cannot write off more than $ 10,000 in property taxes and state income taxes on their federal return.

But not doing this can be expensive. The SALT border deduction raised $ 77.4 billion in the first year, according to the Joint Tax Committee, and a complete waiver in 2021 could cost as much as $ 88.7 billion and more. Plus, Republicans largely backed the cap.

While the so-called SALT Caucus, a group of bipartisan lawmakers pushing for repeal, says the border hurts middle-class families, opponents say a change could primarily help the rich.

According to the Tax Policy Center, more than 96% of the benefit can go to the top 20% of earners, which affects only 9% of American households.

Meanwhile, several high-tax states are now offering SALT cap workarounds for pass-through business owners that allow some businesses to skip the withholding limit by using a state levy to cover part of the owner’s state income taxes.

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