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Amid battles in DC, Suozzi’s Bipartisan Legislation to Restore SALT Deduction Passes US House of Representatives

December 19, 2019
Press Release
The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act receives bipartisan support, including Republican yes votes

Today, the United States House of Representatives passed Congressman Tom Suozzi’s (NY-03) legislation to restore tax fairness to families on Long Island and across the United States. Suozzi’s colleagues from Long Island Congressman Peter King (NY-02), Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-05) all cosponsored the legislation. The final vote of 218 – 206 received bipartisan support, including Republican members voting yes. The bill now moves to the Senate. 


This legislation would eliminate the marriage penalty by doubling the cap to $20,000 for joint filers for 2019 and would fully restore the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for 2020 and 2021. The cost of this plan would be fully offset by returning the top individual tax rate from 37 percent, back to 39.6 percent, prior to the GOP tax bill of 2017.


“Amid all the turmoil in DC, I am thrilled that the House, with bipartisan support, has passed my legislation to restore tax fairness for my constituents on Long Island. The 2017 cap on SALT broke a century-old agreement. A covenant to protect state and local government and my bill restores that protection, it restores that covenant, and it restores fairness, as well,” said Suozzi.


The bill, which had more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, is a concrete step in repealing a provision of the 2017 GOP tax law that placed a devastating cap on state and local tax deductions. The limitation of this critical deduction has resulted in a tax increase for families across Long Island.


“Even before the GOP tax bill capped the SALT deduction, New Yorkers already paid more than their fair share of taxes. This bill would do justice for New York taxpayers by restoring the SALT deduction and providing additional assistance to teachers who spend money out-of-pocket on school supplies for their students. I thank Congressman Suozzi for his leadership in bringing Members across the aisle, including my Long Island colleagues, together in passing this legislation through the House,” said Rep. Meeks.


"Families in my district are among the hardest hit by the President’s devastating cap on state and local tax deductions. This cap has done nothing but lead to an unfair tax increase for middle-class families across Long Island, and I am thrilled the House passed legislation today to undo this harmful policy. I thank Congressman Suozzi for his leadership on this critical legislation,” said Rep. Rice. 


"Eliminating deductions for local and state taxes will have a devastating effect on New York. We give far more to Washington then we get back. For every dollar we give, we get $.79 back. That’s a $48 billion shortfall and hurts our middle-class Long Islanders. This legislation is critical,” said Rep. King.


The capping of the SALT deduction was unfair to Long Island because:

  • New Yorkers already subsidize other states by paying $48 billion more in taxes than they receive back from the federal government, more than any other state.
  • The repeal of the SALT deduction results in double taxation by imposing a federal tax income which already paid for state and local taxes.
  • State and local governments are being penalized – the creation of the SALT deduction was coupled with the creation of a federal income tax in 1913. When the 16th amendment was ratified, lawmakers at the time did not think it was fair for Americans to pay taxes on taxes.
  • The elimination of the deduction drives people to other states and leaves middle- and lower-income taxpayers holding the bag to pay for school, police and other essential state and local tax burdens.


The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act has already been endorsed by several national organizations including the:

  • US Conference of Mayors
  • National Association of Counties
  • National League of Cities
  • International Association of Firefighters
  • National Association of Realtors
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • National Education Association
  • National Association of Police Organizations


Other Statements in Support of The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act from local Long Island officials and organizations:


“Long Island has been devastated by the federal government’s tax increase on middle-class families. Our taxpayers already send more to Washington than they get in return – we deserve tax fairness and immediate relief. On behalf of Nassau County, I want to thank Congressman Suozzi for leading this important fight in Congress, and also thank Congressman King and Congresswoman Rice for putting our taxpayers first,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.


“This legislation provides much-needed relief for working Long Islanders who have been devastated by the loss of their state and local tax deductions. I applaud Congressman Suozzi for leading this bipartisan effort to reverse Washington’s massive tax increase on New York homeowners who already send Washington $48 billion more in taxes than they receive in return,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.


“The hardship caused by the limitation of the SALT deduction has been a 1 – 2 punch to our village. It has resulted in higher taxes and lower home values. Many longtime residents are rethinking whether they can afford to stay in a village that has been home many years. This is not a Republican or Democrat question. It is a question of fairness. This SALT cap limit is totally unfair to villages like mine and others throughout the country. I want to thank Congressman Suozzi, on behalf of Bayville, for being a leader on this issue and for putting our taxpayers first.,” said Bayville Mayor Robert De Natale (testified before House Ways and Means earlier this year regarding impacts of SALT).


“The LIA commends Congressman Suozzi for his efforts to address the inequities in the federal law that caps SALT deductions that negatively impact our region,” said Long Island Association President & CEO Kevin Law.


“Long Island’s middle class was gutted when they lost the crucial SALT deduction. Without SALT, the next generation of Long Islanders are struggling to purchase their first homes and Boomers are being driven to relocate out of state much earlier than anticipated. This mass exodus from our region, coupled with a new barrier to fill the homes left behind, is destructive to a regional economy. We applaud the leadership of Congressman Suozzi and the efforts by the Long Island delegation to continue to fight for our middle class and how they are putting partisan politics aside to do all that they can to protect every Long Island homeowner," said Kyle Strober, executive director, Association for a Better Long Island, a leading regional advocacy organization.