WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) cosponsored legislation led by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) to repeal the federal cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions imposed by the American Jobs and Tax Cut Act in 2017, which has led to the double-taxing of millions of middle-class Americans. With the beginning of the tax season underway, many taxpayers in in high cost states like Connecticut and New Jersey owe significantly more on their taxes as a result of the SALT cap. 

“The Republicans’ tax bill has been an all-around failure for working and middle-class Americans, and has exploded our deficit. Limiting people’s ability to deduct property taxes and other state and local taxes was a partisan trick aimed at hurting states like Connecticut. Families in Connecticut are starting to feel the impact as they file their taxes this season. We need to get rid of the SALT cap now,” said Murphy

“Families hard hit by the Republican tax scam – doing their returns right now –  deserve relief from a stunningly high tax burden resulting in part from the Trump SALT deduction cap,” said Blumenthal. “If Republicans in Congress and President Trump had listened to the American people, they might have understood the devastatingly unfair impact of capping the SALT deduction on middle-class families in states like Connecticut. Our bill would reinstate the SALT deduction, and provide some relief to those families who are struggling during tax season.” 

“We’re just two weeks into the tax-filing season, and thousands of taxpayers across New Jersey are now fully realizing how bad the Trump Tax Law and it’s gutting of the property tax write-off is for them and their families,” said Menendez. “We know all too well that New Jersey is a high cost state, where families face high property tax bills and high cost of living. Well, our bill is designed to provide some relief. Generally speaking, the more you pay in property and state taxes, the more relief you’ll get from our bill. Allowing property taxes to be fully deducted has been a bedrock principle of our tax code and is commonsense tax policy that rewards states that invest in things like education, public safety, infrastructure and economic opportunity for all.” 

“The Trump tax scam law specifically targeted our state by capping the State and Local Tax deduction,” said Pascrell. “The vast majority of those claiming the deduction are middle-class households, especially in New Jersey. In my district, 37 percent of taxpayers claim the deduction with the average amount at $18,668. In some parts of N.J.-09 the average is over $24,000—that’s not small change.  So this tax season, a lot of my constituents are taking a hit on their tax bills and desperately need relief.  This bipartisan effort is about providing that relief to New Jersey taxpayers by reinstating the full SALT deductions our constituents have long enjoyed.  Passing our SALT Act of 2019 is one of my absolutely top priorities this Congress.” 

The Stop Attacking Local Taxpayers (SALT) Act of 2019 fully restores the SALT deduction, which has been part of the tax code since the federal income tax was created in 1913. It also restores the top individual income tax rate at 39.6%, the rate at which upper income was taxed prior to the passage of the Trump tax cuts in 2017. The tax law, rammed through the Republican-controlled Congress on a party-line vote in December 2017, gave huge tax breaks to the super rich and giant corporations, while hiking taxes on the middle-class and capping SALT at $10,000.   

The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to write-off taxes paid at the state and local level from their federal income tax bill so they won’t be subject to being taxed twice on the same dollar. In addition to helping families avoid double taxation, the SALT deduction supports the ability of communities, cities, and states to raise their own revenues and fund critical investments in public education, infrastructure, social services, and public safety.  

Joining Murphy, Blumenthal, Menendez, and Pascrell as cosponsors are U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (NJ-4), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Andy Kim (NJ-3), Tom Malinowski (NJ-7), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Tom Suozzi (NY-3), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), John Larson (CT-1), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Danny Davis (IL-7), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), John Garamendi (CA-3), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2).