Blue-state Republicans say they will vote against 'tax cuts 2.0' if it extends SALT cap

Blue-state Republicans say they will vote against 'tax cuts 2.0' if it extends SALT cap
© Greg Nash

Four blue-state Republicans say they will be "forced to oppose" a second round of tax cuts if the legislation includes a provision permanently extending the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.

The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to consider legislation on Thursday that makes permanent the individual tax changes in President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says US has coronavirus 'totally under control' Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE's 2017 tax law, including the SALT deduction cap. The measure is expected to receive a vote on the House floor later this month.

GOP Reps. Dan Donovan (N.Y.), Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingLawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Democrat who opposed Trump, Clinton impeachment inquiries faces big test House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues MORE (N.Y.), Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondo Democratic challenger on Van Drew's party switch: 'He betrayed our community' Trump announces Van Drew will become a Republican in Oval Office meeting Van Drew, set to switch parties, will vote as a Democrat on impeachment MORE (N.J.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithHouse revives agenda after impeachment storm House votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap GOP lawmaker to offer bill to create universal charitable deduction on 'Giving Tuesday' MORE (N.J.) all voted against last year's tax-cut legislation because of the SALT deduction cap and are urging House GOP leaders to avoid cementing the provision with the new legislation.

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"We urge leadership to stop any effort to permanently cap the deduction for State and Local taxes at $10,000 or we would be forced to oppose the bill," the Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWarren now also knocking Biden on Social Security Biden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record MORE (R-Wis.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyConservative groups aim to sink bipartisan fix to 'surprise' medical bills Trump economic aide says new tax proposal could be unveiled this summer Hoyer: Democratic chairmen trying to bridge divide on surprise medical bills MORE (R-Texas). The letter was dated Friday and released on Wednesday.

The New York and New Jersey Republicans said that the SALT deduction cap disproportionately impacts their states, which send more to the federal government in taxes than they receive back. The lawmakers expressed concerns that curbing the deduction will hurt housing prices.

"The state and local tax deduction promotes homeownership, increased funding for local infrastructure projects, public education and other state run services – programs that help foster U.S. production and reduce income inequality," the lawmakers wrote.

"Eliminating this deduction will eliminate the incentive for people to live where local government stewards the public. The cost of these local public services in communities across the country, especially in New York and New Jersey, will only increase further, negatively impacting those who benefit from these programs every day."

Besides the SALT deduction cap, the 2017 tax law's cuts to individual tax rates, increase in the standard deduction and increase in the child tax credit also are currently set to expire after 2025.

The blue-state GOP lawmakers said they support making the individual tax cuts permanent but said they "cannot sit idle as a deduction that benefits Americans across the country is permanently dismantled."

Donovan, King, LoBiondo and Smith aren't the only blue-state Republicans who have come out against the second round of tax cuts over concerns about the SALT deduction. Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceGun debate to shape 2020 races GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Bottom Line MORE (R-N.J.), who also voted against the 2017 law, has said he opposes the second tax package.

Lance and Donovan are both running for reelection in competitive races, while LoBiondo is retiring.

Brady has defended the SALT deduction cap, arguing that blue-state governors should cut their states' taxes.