Finance

Dem tax-writers forming working group on SALT deduction cap

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House Ways and Means Committee Democrats are forming a working group to discuss a provision in President Trump’s tax-cut law that many lawmakers in blue states find concerning.

Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that he’s asked Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calf.), the chairman of the committee’s tax subcommittee, to convene a working group on the tax law’s $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction.

The working group is expected to meet Wednesday afternoon, according to the committee.

The working group would be “for members of our committee that are interested in solving this challenge,” Neal said during the Ways and Means Committee’s markup of IRS and retirement legislation. 

“We know that the limitation on the SALT deduction is an important issue that the committee perhaps can address in this Congress,” he added. Neal pointed out that Trump has expressed a willingness to revisit the SALT deduction cap.

Many politicians in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California have been criticizing the cap on the SALT deduction. They argue that the cap has caused some taxpayers in their districts to see increases in their taxes and that the cap hurts their states’ ability to generate the tax revenue needed to fund public services.

But most Republicans are supportive of the cap, which they included in the tax law as a way to raise revenue to pay for tax cuts elsewhere in their legislation. They point out that most people are getting a tax cut under the GOP law and that repealing the SALT deduction cap would mainly benefit high earners. They also are encouraging blue-state governors to cut their states’ taxes.

Thompson told reporters on Tuesday that he is planning to hold a roundtable for Ways and Means committee members. He said the working group would be an opportunity to talk about the SALT deduction cap “and find out if there’s any improvements we can make.”

“I want to understand all of the impact,” he said. “This has caused some problems in a lot of states. It’s diverted money away from programs that are important to constituents that we all represent.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a senior Ways and Means Committee member, has introduced legislation to restore the full SALT deduction and also raise the top individual tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. The legislation is co-sponsored by several other Ways and Means Committee Democrats.

Pascrell told reporters that he doesn’t want the working group to last long because he wants “to get something done.” He said he’s sticking with his legislation.

Tags Bill Pascrell Donald Trump Mike Thompson Richard Neal
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