BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
Today’s column focuses on just two of the many issues faced by our US Congress, and begins by thanking our local Congresswoman, Nita Lowey, for her co-sponsorship of Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky’s bill, HR3449. The bill embodies Ombudsman Alert’s urgent appeal made in our column back on July 20 and prohibits dealers of used cars that are subject to dangerous safety recalls from selling those vehicles until the recall problem has been repaired.
Ombudsman Alert further urges the prompt passage of HR3449 and its companion bill, S1634, sponsored by US Senator Blumenthal, as well as its approval by President Trump.
Our second issue concerns the current legislation in Congress to “reform” the tax code by simplifying and improving it for the average and middle-class citizens (as well as for corporations and small businesses). Unfortunately, however, the current proposal for this new code eliminates the existing state and local tax deductions currently relied upon by the large number of citizens who itemize their returns!
It’s clear that the proposed elimination of these tax deductions, particularly for the average middle-class homeowner in our region who pays very high property taxes (which would no longer be deductible under the current proposal), would be truly devastating! Would this mean that the middle-class family who realized the “American Dream” by finally acquiring their own home (or condo) will be pushed out of their home as the result of a so-called “fairer” tax code?
In order to gain the opinions on this matter from two of our US Congresspersons, representing the suburbs of NYC, Ombudsman Alert contacted our local Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Peter King who sent the following statements to our readers:
Congresswoman Nita Lowey:
“I support efforts to make the tax code fairer and put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans. Unfortunately,….Elimination of the state and local tax exemption would effectively take hard-earned money out of the pockets of New Yorkers and residents of high-tax states. This would be a disaster for Hudson Valley taxpayers, whose taxes would increase by thousands of dollars were this deduction eliminated. Middle-class and working New Yorkers need tax relief, not more tax bills.”
Congressman Peter King:
“Any tax reform legislation must retain state and local tax deductions. Hard working New Yorkers must not be taxed twice.”
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