The U.S House of Representatives voted Nov. 19 to approve President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan, which includes a provision raising the cap on state and local property tax deductions to $80,000 through 2030.
Enacted as part of the Trump-era federal tax cut bill in 2017, the SALT cap has been set at $10,000 – an amount criticized by officials in New Jersey and New York as an attack on their states.
“Since it was implemented in the 2017 Republican Tax Hike Bill, the cap has unfairly double taxed families across the country and worked to defund our states’ critical priorities,” Democratic U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey, and Tom Suozzi from New York, said in a statement.
Biden’s initial spending proposal did not include lifting the SALT cap, but Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters at a briefing that Biden was “comfortable moving forward with it.”
“It’s a sustainable solution, in our view, that means those with lower incomes would be able to fully write off their state and local taxes,” she added, “This is a part of compromise.”
Some of the nation’s top progressive lawmakers – like U.S Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont – had pushed to retain SALT cap. “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the last thing we should be doing is giving more tax breaks to the very rich,” he said earlier this month.
But U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Sanders are working on a deal to entirely lift the SALT cap for households making a maximum of $400,000 a year. Republicans have been widely opposed to the move.
“The Democrats are dedicating hundreds of billions of dollars to tax breaks that go primarily to the wealthy – two out of three millionaires will see a major tax cut,” Rep. Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas, said in an NBC News interview.
Affordability and taxes have been perennial issues in New Jersey, giving Republican former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli a potent line of attack in his campaign against Gov. Phil Murphy.
Murphy has defended his record on those issues, but business groups argue that he has said too little about how he would address those concerns in his second term.
“We have had – and not even arguably – the most successful efforts to date in providing real property tax relief to our residents,” the governor said in Atlantic City on Thursday.
“This is not abstract,” he continued. “The budgets our administration has enacted have contributed to three of the lowest year-over-year increases in property taxes on record and the slowest rate of property tax increases of any administration since the start of the millennium.”
But some of the top New Jersey Democrats at a Nov. 17 panel in Atlantic City, said state leaders must do more to address taxes and the cost of living given the election results.
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