Don’t like the tax deduction cap? A simple solution | Editorial

Posted Oct 07, 2019

Having the highest property taxes in the nation is bad. But credit where it’s due: President Trump has made it worse.

To help pay for his trillions of dollars in tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefitted the wealthy, he targeted a tax break primarily used by the middle class in New Jersey.

Trump capped the write-off for state and local taxes, known as SALT, to $10,000. Many people pay more than that, especially in high-tax blue states like ours. Now they can’t deduct it from their federal returns.

A judge just dismissed the lawsuit New Jersey filed with three neighboring states, deciding the president’s move doesn’t violate the constitution. Fine.

This seemed hopeless from the start as a legal fight. The real fight is political. The only way to end this noxious money grab from blue states like ours is to get rid of Trump and replace him with a Democrat, face it.

The president claimed his tax plan would be a boon to ordinary workers, even as CEOs openly admitted that they wouldn’t use their extra money to boost wages.

Instead, they told Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a survey, they would pass this windfall along to their shareholders. And that’s what they did.

To help pay for his giveaway to the uber-rich, Trump put this limit on our SALT deduction, where none existed before. He restructured America’s tax code with an eye toward hurting Democratic states and benefiting the red states that supported him.

Voters got the message: This was just another way to ding New Jersey.

Even in the red 7th district, as many as 54 percent disapproved of his tax reform plan. “We saw a higher opposition to that in New Jersey than in the other districts we polled across the country,” says Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray.

That we are now being forced to pay more, so that the rich donor class can pay less, isn’t the only injustice here. Blue states were already contributing much more in federal taxes than red states and getting back less in government services for it.

As Rep. Josh Gottheimer says, they are “the moochers.” Now Trump is forcing us to carry even more of their weight.

Blue state governors including ours have tried to finagle a workaround to this, to no avail. And Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t care. But if Democrats recapture the White House and the Senate, restoring our full tax deduction would be one of their top priorities.

New Jersey’s House freshmen, including Mikie Sherrill, Andy Kim and Tom Malinkowski, are lobbying hard on that issue already. The answer to Trump’s indifference isn’t in the courts, as we’ve seen. It’s at the ballot box. Come 2020, we must make him pay for it.

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment