I appreciate Charles Lane’s attention to my legislation to fully restore the state and local tax deduction, but I reject his characterization of its aims in his Jan. 8 Tuesday Opinion column, “An idea more radical than Ocasio-Cortez’s.”
The congressional district I represent, New York’s 17th, is full of hard-working, diverse, middle-class Americans who have relied on the state and local tax deduction to help provide for their families and invest in their futures. Like other New Yorkers and Americans in high-taxed states who depend on the deduction, they pay more for food and housing and contribute more in taxes to state and local spending in areas with considerable spillover effects such as education, transportation and health care.
New York is a “donor state.” It contributed $35.6 billion more in taxes to the federal government than it received in federal dollars in 2017. The cap on the so-called SALT deduction imposed by the federal tax law digs even deeper into the pockets of residents of these states, increasing their subsidization of other states and, egregiously, enormous giveaways to the very wealthiest and corporations.
Full restoration of the SALT deduction is a matter of tax fairness — for my constituents, yes, but also for many other taxpayers around the country who are now being taxed twice on the same income. Capping the deduction was never about fiscal parity; it was about taking punitive action aimed at Democratic states — even the Trump administration has admitted as much.
Nita M. Lowey, Washington
The writer, a Democrat from New York, is the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.