Bipartisan Backing For Bill To Restore Tax Deduction

Congressmen Thomas Suozzi, left, and Peter King announce at a press conference Monday the introduction of their King-Suozzi bill to repeal the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.  Photo/Office of Rep. Thomas Suozzi

Congressmen Thomas Suozzi, left, and Peter King announce at a press conference Monday the introduction of their King-Suozzi bill to repeal the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions. Photo/Office of Rep. Thomas Suozzi

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Long Island Congressmen Thomas Suozzi (D- Glen Cove) and Peter King (R- Seaford) have introduced legislation to restore the full State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction capped by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The King-Suozzi bill, introduced Friday as the 116th Congress began work, would repeal the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions and retroactively restore a full deduction.

Both King and Suozzi said the $10,000 cap has a disproportionately negative impact on middle-class families in areas with high taxes like Long Island, and both voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“Eliminating deductions for local and state taxes will have a devastating effect on Long Island,” King said at a press conference Monday.

King said Long Islanders “already give far more to Washington then we get back,” getting 79 cents back from every tax dollar paid to the federal government.

“That’s a $48 billion shortfall and hurts our middle class,” King said.

Suozzi called the 2017 tax bill a “punch in the gut” for Long Islanders. In Suozzi’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes all of the Town of Huntington, 250,000 families, or 43 percent of households, claim the SALT deduction at an average rate of $18,300, Suozzi said.

Suozzi said he began brainstorming ways to reinstate the full SALT deduction almost as soon as the 2017 tax bill passed because “my district is in the top ten in America state and local tax deduction claims.”

“We pay very high taxes, and we’ve always relied on the deduction,” Suozzi said.

Suozzi said he has had “informal conversations” with other representatives and feels there’s “a lot of interest in this issue.”

In order to reach a vote on the floor of the Democratic-controlled House, Suozzi said the King-Suozzi bill must first pass through the House Ways and Means Committee. The Republican-controlled Senate must also approve the bill, where Suozzi said he anticipates a much tougher battle to get enough votes.

Suozzi said “most New York Democrats and Republicans will support us in this,” but urged Long Islander to continue to “make this [SALT deductions] an issue” with their federal representatives.