SALT tabled: Lawler’s bid remove cap on tax deductions fails in House of Representatives

New York households hoping for some relief from a controversial tax policy were disappointed last week when a bid by Rockland representative Mike Lawler R (NY-17), to double the cap on SALT (state and local tax) deductions failed a procedural vote in the House of Reps. The Salt Marriage Penalty Elimination Act, which would have allowed married couples to deduct up to $20,000 from their 2023 federal tax fill- ings, was defeated by a margin 195-225 before it could be considered for adoption

First established in 1913, SALT deductions allow taxpayers to itemize the amount they pay in local and state taxes and claim those payments as sort of tax credit, reducing their federal tax burden. A $10,000 cap on that amount, which was introduced by President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, has proven unpopular in states with higher state and local taxes, including New York.

The Empire State joined with other Deomcrat-led states including New Jersey and California in multiple unsuccessful bids to sue the federal government and remove the cap starting in 2018. Since its inception, New York politicians on both sides of the aisle have vowed to remove or expand the cap, which is set to expire at the end of 2025. New York alone has estimated that the SALT cap, if kept in place, will cost its residents a total of $121 billion in additional federal taxes.

Co-sponsored by Rep. Marc Molinaro, R (NY-18)and Nick LaLota, R (NY-1) the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act would have been a big win for the first term New York Republicans who had campaigned on reducing the tax burden facing their constituents.

Rep Mikie Sheririll D (NJ-11), who also co-sponsored the effort, had a change of heart and joined fellow Democrats in voting down the measure after Republican House leadership paired the procedural vote with a resolution that would have condemned President Joe Biden’s energy policies.

Lawler, who made the repeal of the SALT cap a key component of his initial campaign for Congress, voiced his frustration at the bill’s failure in a statement shared with the Rockland County Times.

“When I came to Congress, the very first bill I introduced was the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act to provide immediate tax relief to hard working middle class families throughout the Hudson Valley. Over the last 13 months, I fought tirelessly, including with members of my own party, to get a bill to the floor to receive fair consideration and an up or down vote,” said Lawler.

“Rather than join me in bipartisan cooperation to deliver for all New Yorkers Hakeem Jeffries, and House Democrats from across New York chose to play politics and stop SALT relief dead in its tracks, while Governor Hochul and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand remained silent. They put partisan politics ahead of what is best for the people they rep- resent and it’s shameful.”

“While I am disappointed in the result, I remain undeterred. Along with my New York Republican colleagues, I will continue to fight for SALT tax relief and work towards a bipartisan legislative fix,” concluded Lawler.

Though Lawler placed the blame for the bill’s defeat squarely on his Democrat colleagues, 18 Republican legislators joined the Democrat minority in tanking the procedural vote that would have allowed the SALT Marriage Penalty Act to make it to the floor for consideration.

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