WASHINGTON -- Seven New York House Republicans sent a letter to the Trump administration Tuesday expressing their “deep concerns’’ if tax reform eliminates the deduction for state and local taxes.
Rep. Dan Donovan of Staten Island, the sole Republican in New York City’s congressional delegation, initiated the letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to highlight the impact on New York.
New York has 3.2 million residents who claim the deduction for state and local taxes, the letter said, noting that 85% earn less than $200,000 in income.
“The state has been a net payer to the federal government for decades, and while New York City residents pay $96 billion in personal income taxes, the city receives back only about $61 billion from the federal government,’’ the letter said.
The seven New York lawmakers do not explicitly threaten to withhold support for tax reform if the deduction is abolished. “However, before reaching any conclusions, we will analyze any reform package on how it affects our constituents, and we will ultimately do whatever provides out constituents the biggest tax benefits,’’ the letter said.
Last week Mnuchin received a bipartisan letter on the same issue signed by 70 House lawmakers that was initiated by New Jersey Reps. Leonard Lance, a Republican, and Bill Pascrell, a Democrat.
All 18 House Democrats from New York signed the Lance-Pascrell letter as did Republican Reps. Peter King of Long Island and Claudia Tenney of upstate New York.
King and Tenney also signed the new letter, along with Reps. Lee Zeldin of Long Island, John Faso of the Hudson Valley, John Katko of the Syracuse area and Elise Stefanik of the North Country.
New York Republican Reps. Tom Reed of Corning and Chris Collins of the Buffalo area did not sign either letter.
The Trump administration and congressional Republican leaders are trying to broaden the tax base and lower overall rate amid intense lobbying to maintain the status quo. The Municipal Bonds for America coalition, for instance, says it has received an assurance from White House officials that the exemption for municipal bonds will be retained.