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Rep. Higgins Says Cutting State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction Removes Century-Old Protection for Local Taxpayers Only to Provide More to Companies Already Reaping Record Profits

Nov 7, 2017
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) pushed back on proposals in the GOP tax bill that would provide a trillion dollar giveaway to companies making record profits at the expense of individual taxpayers.

During a House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee hearing, Higgins, Vice Ranking Member of the Committee, said in part, “In 1913 the 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact federal income tax.  At the same time, 104 years ago, they established that a local and state tax deduction was needed to protect local folks from a long, heavy reach of the federal government.  The local and state tax deduction was a check in the federal authority to level income taxes.  It was to protect local taxpayers from double taxation in a federal money grab.  Forty-five million Americans will lose this protection, costing $3,500 each.  This bill will take away that protection and give the federal government the authority to double tax people to raise $1.5 trillion to fund tax cuts for American companies who are reaping record profits. 

“Those same corporations are hoarding cash everywhere.  U.S. companies have $2.1 trillion in profits hidden in foreign accounts.  U.S. companies have an additional $1.9 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds - $4 trillion.  And you need to give them another $1.5 trillion? 

“We are told not to worry, that the American worker will see an increase in their income between $4,000 and $9,000 every single year, because American businesses will pass on this tax cut to workers.  That is a bold faced lie.  That will never happen. 

“One hundred and fifteen Fortune 500 companies paid no federal taxes last year and they will get a tax cut under your plan. Thirty Fortune 500 companies had a negative tax liability last year – and they’re getting $1.5 trillion more.

“The most efficient operating piece of the American economy is when the American worker shares in the prosperity of the productivity gains in this economy.  That’s what will grow the economy.  That’s what will put people to work.  That’s what will reduce the deficit and debt.” 

Higgins comments were made in support of an amendment introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-9) which would have preserved the SALT deduction.  The amendment was not approved.

In addition to denouncing the SALT deduction cut which is particularly harmful to New Yorkers, Higgins also reminded the Committee that New York pays $41 billion more to Washington than it receives.