Menendez, Cantwell, Van Hollen Offer Measure to Protect SALT Deductions, Shield Middle Class from Being Taxed Twice on Their Paychecks

Menendez, Cantwell, Van Hollen Offer Measure to Protect SALT Deductions, Shield Middle Class from Being Taxed Twice on Their Paychecks

For the third time this week, Menendez takes to the floor to denounce GOP tax scheme

– U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today joined Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) to offer a provision authored by Menendez that would keep in place the State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions as part of any Republican tax plan.  Senate Republicans have eliminated the SALT deductions for taxpayers to help pay for their massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Currently, taxpayers pay state and local tax – whether it’s property, income, or sales tax – and are able to deduct that amount from their federal income taxes. Without the SALT deductions, taxpayers would be taxed multiple times on the same income.




“Senate Republicans are on the verge of passing a tax plan that reads like one giant hit-job on New Jersey’s middle class,” said Senator Menendez. “Gutting the state and local tax deduction will literally force millions of hardworking families in states like New Jersey to pay taxes twice on the same money.  And Republicans are only rubbing salt in their wounds by letting corporations keep this deduction on top of the all the tax cuts they already get. It’s wrong to ask hardworking families who had to fight their way into the middle class to pay more just so that multinational corporations can pay less.” 


A copy of the amendment can be found here.


Senator Menendez’s remarks are below:

“I’m here to support the motion offered by my friend Senator Cantwell and to speak out against a tax bill that is nothing short of highway robbery on New Jerseyans.  This tax plan is about one thing. It’s about cutting taxes for wealthy corporations and asking working families to pay for it.

“And it’s especially bad for middle class families in New Jersey, New York, Washington, Maryland, and other high-earning states that make bold investments in education, that drive the most innovation, that generate the most federal revenue, and yes, often vote for Democrats.

“And don’t let the Republicans fool you if they airdrop an amendment at the last minute that throws a few crumbs at New Jersey families and call it a victory.  Carve outs, caps, and exceptions are nothing but gimmicks meant to distract the public from what’s really going on. 

“No matter how you slice it, gutting or even limiting the state and local tax deduction is a direct assault on middle class families in America’s highest-earning, most economically productive states.  By gutting the SALT deduction, Republicans will literally force millions of middle class families across America to pay taxes on their taxes. 

“In 2015 alone, nearly 1.8 million New Jersey households deducted a combined $32 billion in state, local, and property taxes from their federal tax bills.  These families aren’t living large. They’re middle class folks who had to work hard for every dollar they have.  In fact IRS data shows that more than 85 percent of taxpayers who claim the SALT deduction make under $200,000 year, and over half make under $100,000 a year.

“It’s wrong to ask millions of Americans who had to fight their way into the middle class to pay more just so that big corporations can pay less. And rubbing SALT in their wounds is the fact that Republicans let corporations keep on deducting their state and local taxes – on top of the huge tax cuts lavished on them by the Trump tax plan.

“If deducting state and local taxes is so important for big corporations that make billions of dollars each year, Republicans should understand why it’s so important for middle class families in cities and suburbs across America. That’s why I’m offering this motion with my friend Senator Cantwell to send the bill back to committee to fix this fatal flaw and restore the SALT deduction. If it’s good enough for huge corporations, it should be good enough for middle class families.

“I’ve heard many of my Republican colleagues complain about the SALT deduction as if it’s some subsidy for New Jersey.  The hypocrisy here is just amazing to me.  Far from subsidizing successful states like New Jersey and New York, the SALT deduction actually benefits the entire nation which is able to share in the economic rewards created by the high-powered economies of states like New Jersey.  

“And now, Republicans are trying to take even more.  Well, we’re sick and tired of it and we want our money back.  So I’ll make a deal with any Republican from a taker state.  Since you’re so opposed to subsidizing other states, how about you take all of the extra federal dollars you receive – transfer it back to donor states like New Jersey.  Sound like a deal? I didn’t think so.

“Each and every year, states like New Jersey, New York, and Virginia generate billions of dollars in federal revenue that goes to Americans in less productive, lower-income states that are more reliant – more dependent – on federal spending.  They are America’s economic powerhouses – America’s donor states – precisely because they invest in public education, law enforcement, mass transit, infrastructure, and economic opportunity for all.

“So it is no surprise that everyone from the Fraternal Order of Police to the American Hospital Association to the AARP support keeping the state and local tax deduction.  Taking it away is a direct threat to the funding states need to educate our kids, keep cops on the beat, equip first responders and firefighters, and provide health care to the most vulnerable.

“All this just to give corporations big tax cuts?  If multinational corporations get to keep deducting their state and local taxes, there’s no reason to stop millions of middle class Americans from doing the same.

“And make no mistake: any reduction in the state and local tax deduction is a direct assault on America’s highest-earning, most innovative, most economically productive states.  And guess what?  All Americans will lose out when America’s economic powerhouse states aren’t so powerful anymore.  I urge my colleagues to stop punishing success, stop interfering in state government decisions, and join me in protecting the SALT deduction.”