A bipartisan pair of New York lawmakers introduced legislation to repeal the cap on state and local tax deductions included in the Republicans' tax plan signed by President Donald Trump last month.
The bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, a Democrat, would restore the state and local tax deduction. Lowey's measure is cosponsored by U.S. Peter King, a Long Island Republican. King was one of five New York House GOP members who opposed the tax plan approved by Congress.
The new tax law includes a $10,000 cap on state and local income, property and sales tax deductions. Earlier drafts of the measure called for the elimination of state and local tax deductability.
Republicans from New York and other high-tax states pushed for a compromise: the $10,000 cap. With the state and local tax deduction partially restored, four GOP members from New York supported the tax plan. U.S. Rep. John Katko, a Syracuse-area Republican, said he voted for the plan because it would benefit a vast majority of his constituents.
But for downstate representatives, the cap isn't enough. Lowey, D-Westchester County, said 45 percent of taxpayers in her district deduct an average $26,000 in state and local taxes. Throughout the state, 35 percent of taxpayers use the deduction.
"By effectively eliminating this deduction, the new federal tax law unfairly punishes families living in states that send money to the federal government than we get back in federal investments," Lowey said. "This is unacceptable, and our bill is a necessary step to providing tax relief — not more burdens — for New York families."
The Lowey-King bill received support from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has spoken out against the GOP tax plan.
Cuomo opposed the tax law mainly due to the changes to the state and local tax deduction. He has threatened to file a legal challenge against the tax plan. But he lauded King and Lowey for working together to advocate for the restoration of the deduction.
"These members are doing what they were elected to do — protect New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "They showed that New York won't take this assault sitting down, and I will continue to do everything possible to right this economic injustice."
The House is unlikely to consider the bill. While Democrats and a small number of Republicans would support the proposal, there may not be enough votes to pass the measure.