What You Need to Know
- The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that repealing the SALT cap would cut taxes for more than 13 million people.
- A full repeal would be costly and politically difficult to pass with razor-thin margins in both chambers.
- But a coalition of lawmakers from New York, New Jersey, and other states with high tax rates continue to insist that is what it will take for them to back the legislation.
House Democrats continue to search for a way to satisfy lawmakers who want to scrap the deduction limit on state and local taxes without losing progressives wary of a tax cut that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy.
The budget blueprint Democrats passed this summer instructs lawmakers to include some form of SALT cap relief in a tax-and-spend plan of up to $3.5 trillion.
A full repeal would be costly and politically difficult to pass with razor-thin margins in both chambers. But a coalition of lawmakers from New York, New Jersey, and other states with high tax rates continue to insist that is what it will take for them to back the legislation.
“I will support my progressive friends and the Democratic caucus on big bold initiatives, on getting things done to improve people’s quality of life,” Representative Tom Suozzi, a New York Democrat, said in an interview this week. “But no SALT, no deal.”
Suozzi is one of the leaders of the “SALT Caucus,” an alliance of more than 30 lawmakers who want to roll back the $10,000 deduction limit established in the Republican-led 2017 tax law.
While they argue that the cap unfairly targets Democrat-dominated states and encourages people to move to Florida and other low-tax states, progressives counter that expanding the deduction shouldn’t be a priority in a social spending bill because the bulk of the benefit would go to the wealthy.
The House tax-writing panel is taking a phased approach to its part of the tax-and-spend plan, starting a multi-day markup Thursday with consideration of proposals on health care, paid leave, and retirement savings.
“We are still working through the tax provisions,” said California Representative Mike Thompson, chair of the Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee. “We have a ways to go.”
Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts said Thursday the tax portion of the committee’s reconciliation plan will likely be released over the weekend. A top Democratic staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the talks, told Bloomberg that a SALT cap compromise has been difficult to reach so far.
Jim Manley, who spent six years working as a senior staffer for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Suozzi and other SALT cap opponents will need to scale back their ambitions if they want a deal.