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Sanders SALT

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks as Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) stands by during a discussion of a compromise on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction during a November 3, 2021 press conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senators Offer Solution as Progressives Warn SALT Repeal Would Be 'Colossal Mistake'

"Democrats have already cut trillions of dollars of vital aid for American families from their reconciliation plan, so to add a significant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans in its place would be adding insult to injury."

Brett Wilkins

As congressional Democrats consider repealing the Trump-era $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction, the advocacy group Patriotic Millionaires joined a pair of U.S. senators Wednesday in warning against a move the organization says would "overwhelmingly benefit wealthy Americans."

"No millionaire should be getting a tax cut from this reconciliation bill."

"I am a millionaire living in New York City who is affected by the SALT cap, and I cannot think of anything more unacceptable and shameful than for Democrats to push this repeal through," Morris Pearl, chair of the progressive advocacy group Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at the multinational investment firm BlackRock Inc., said in a statement.

CNBC reports House Democrats on Wednesday offered a proposal that would increase the state and local tax (SALT) deduction from $10,000 to $72,500 through 2031—six years longer than the current 2025 expiration date—as part of a provision in the Build Back Better budget reconciliation package.

Meanwhile, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that while his House colleagues' proposal was better than a full SALT cap repeal, it's "still is quite regressive."

Instead, Sanders and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) proposed their own SALT compromise.

"So, if completely eliminating the cap on state and local tax exemption is regressive and unfair, what is the solution?" Sanders asked. "The answer is obvious. We should eliminate that cap for families making $400,000 or less, not for millionaires and billionaires. And we should make that permanent."

The SALT deduction was capped at $10,000 under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a way to pay for massive tax cuts that mostly benefited superrich Americans and corporations. While centrist and right-wing Democrats from high-tax states support lifting the limit, Morris warned that "repealing the SALT cap would be a colossal mistake."

"Democrats have already cut trillions of dollars of vital aid for American families from their reconciliation plan, so to add a significant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans in its place would be adding insult to injury," argued Pearl. "Everyday Americans would not benefit whatsoever from the SALT cap repeal, while the top 0.1% of households in states like New York and New Jersey would get an average $300,000 tax break. This must not be allowed to happen."

"If Democrats are absolutely committed to amending the cap, it should only apply to people making less than $1 million a year," he added. "No millionaire should be getting a tax cut from this reconciliation bill."

Sanders concurred.

"We should be substantially increasing taxes on the top 1%," the democratic socialist argued, "not giving the wealthiest people in America a tax break."


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