Tax Foundation: Bill to roll back SALT deduction cap would cost $223B

Tax Foundation: Bill to roll back SALT deduction cap would cost $223B
© Greg Nash

A Democratic bill to roll back but not fully repeal the GOP tax law's cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction would lower federal revenue by $223 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis released Monday by the right-leaning Tax Foundation.

Reps. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodAyanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia Democrats worry party is squandering political opportunity on ObamaCare Overnight Health Care — Presented by Rare Access Action Project — Court ruling reignites ObamaCare fight for 2020 | Congress expands probe into surprise billing | Health industry racks up wins in year-end spending deal MORE and Sean CastenSean CastenHouse votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention MORE, both freshman Democrats from Illinois, introduced legislation in March to raise the SALT deduction cap to $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 for married couples, and adjust the cap for inflation. The GOP tax law imposes a cap of $10,000 for both single and married filers.

Republicans included the SALT deduction cap in their 2017 law in order to raise revenue to help pay for tax cuts in the measure. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle from high-tax states have expressed concerns that the provision will disproportionately hurt their constituents.


Most taxpayers even in high tax states are getting a tax cut from President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE's law, but a small percentage of taxpayers saw an increase for 2018 due to the SALT deduction cap.

The Tax Foundation estimated that Underwood and Casten's bill would cost more than $200 billion from 2020 to 2029, and that all of that revenue impact would take place from 2020 to 2025. That's because the cap, along with most other individual tax provisions in the 2017 law, expires after 2025, the group said.

The think tank estimated that Underwood and Casten's bill has a smaller price tag than other bills lawmakers from high-tax states have introduced in recent months to completely eliminate the SALT deduction cap.

The Tax Foundation estimated that a bill from Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHouse Democrat presses Pentagon after Trump downplays severity of US troop injuries in Iran attack House approves Trump's USMCA trade deal amid shadow of impeachment A solemn impeachment day on Capitol Hill MORE (D-N.J.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (D-N.J.) to fully restore the SALT deduction and raise the top individual rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent would lower federal revenue by $532 billion from 2019 to 2028. The group estimated that a bill from Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyMixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates US officials, world leaders arrive in Israel for World Holocaust Forum  House revives agenda after impeachment storm MORE (D-N.Y) and 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 (R-N.Y.) to fully restore the SALT deduction would cost more than $600 billion in that time frame.

Kyle Pomerleau, who wrote the Tax Foundation's report, said on Twitter that Underwood and Casten's proposal is "much more workable" than other proposals on the SALT deduction.

Underwood and Casten said when they introduced their bill that they assume some sort of pay-for would be attached to their bill if it moved through Congress. They also said that they proposed legislation to raise the SALT deduction cap rather than fully repeal it so that they could focus tax relief on the middle class.

However, the Tax Foundation estimated that those in the top 10 percent of income would benefit the most from the bill. The group estimated that those in the bottom three-fifths of income wouldn't be affected by the bill, because those taxpayers typically are utilizing the 2017 tax law's larger standard deduction rather than itemizing their deductions.

Casten and Underwood said Monday in a statement: “The Republican tax law failed to put middle class families first. Our legislation would help Illinois families disproportionately burdened by the changes to the State and Local Tax deduction to ensure middle class families aren’t excessively burdened with an unfair double-tax.”

Democrats have frequently criticized the Tax Foundation, which is generally supportive of the GOP tax law.

Trump said in a tweet Monday that New Yorkers "didn’t even put up a fight against SALT - could have won." Democratic lawmakers responded to the tweet by saying they did fight against the SALT deduction cap and that if Trump wants to restore the full deduction, he should work with them.

-updated at 4:16 p.m.