Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) stood up for Western New York and working families in opposition to the House of Representatives GOP Tax bill (H.R. 1) which is slated for a vote on Thursday, November 16, 2017, just two weeks after the legislation was introduced.
Congressman Higgins, who serves as Vice Ranking Member on the House Ways and Means Committee, made the following remarks on the House Floor:
“Mr. Speaker, New York State contributes $41 billion annually to the federal government in taxation. The House Republicans Corporate tax bill cut is being funded by tax increases on Middle America and on Western New York.
“The elimination of the State and Local Tax deduction would be a major hit on local taxpayers. In fact, in Erie County, 89 percent of middle income households claim the State and Local tax deduction in 2015, deducting $1.6 billion in already payed local taxes.
“The average state and local tax deduction in Erie County was $12,866.
“This corporate tax cut is being funded by tax hikes against Middle America and on Western New Yorkers and should be rejected.”
In October, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a report confirming that New Yorkers already pay $41 billion more in taxes to the federal government than they receive – for every dollar contributed in federal taxes, New York receives just 84 cents in return. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that under the GOP House tax bill, New Yorkers would pay an additional $4 billion in higher income taxes.
The House bill ends the deduction for state income taxes, caps the property tax deduction at $10,000 and limits the mortgage interest deduction to loans for less than $500,000. The State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction has been in place since 1913 and was claimed by over 125,000 households in Erie County and nearly 26,000 households in Niagara County.
The House tax bill also eliminates the New Markets and Historic Tax credits, repeals the medical expense deduction and no longer allows college students and parents to deduct student loan interest, tuition and graduate school expenses.