The Corner

Economy & Business

SALT in the GOP’s eye?

CNBC:

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — A short drive from President Donald Trump’s Bedminster golf club, where residents can hear helicopter blades whir when the president touches down at his “Summer White House,” Trump and the tax plan he signed into law last year will help to define one of this year’s pivotal House races….

But the tax plan [Republican Congressman] Lance’s party passed last year is more thorny for the representative. It will nick many voters in his high-income, high-tax district, where residents take the largest average state and local tax, or SALT, deductions outside of New York and California. The tax overhaul’s $10,000 limit on those tax breaks was the main reason Lance and 10 other GOP House members from California, New York and New Jersey opposed it….

As the GOP defends Lance’s seat and several others in New Jersey from Democratic challenges, the tax plan has made a challenging environment even tougher. Across the state, Democrats have bashed the tax law as they try to flip a handful of the 23 GOP-held seats needed for their party to take a House majority…

House Republicans in New Jersey sensed the political peril the tax plan posed. Only one GOP representative from the state, Rep. Tom MacArthur, voted for the bill in December. Residents of his 3rd District take the second-lowest average state and local tax deductions in the state.

Numerous Democrats running in House races across the country have criticized the tax law. They largely contend it helped corporations more than working families. Candidates have also warned about the deficits fueled by tax cuts leading to Republicans trimming Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid funding.

The cap on state and local deductions has given New Jersey Democrats even more ammunition in the high-income, high-tax suburbs where some of this year’s critical House battles will take place….

House Republicans in New Jersey sensed the political peril the tax plan posed. Only one GOP representative from the state, Rep. Tom MacArthur, voted for the bill in December. Residents of his 3rd District take the second-lowest average state and local tax deductions in the state. Numerous Democrats running in House races across the country have criticized the tax law. They largely contend it helped corporations more than working families. Candidates have also warned about the deficits fueled by tax cuts leading to Republicans trimming Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid funding.

The cap on state and local deductions has given New Jersey Democrats even more ammunition in the high-income, high-tax suburbs where some of this year’s critical House battles will take place….

Let’s see how things  pan out in November, but my early suspicions that the sharp reduction in the deductibility of state and local taxes was a significant political mistake by the GOP both in the short term (the House elections are, you may have noticed, looking a little dicey) and on a longer view (with leftists around, never, ever touch an “untouchable” deduction) remain unchanged.

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