VIDEO: Menendez Responds to GOP Senator Toomey Claim that SALT is Subsidy to States like NY, NJ

VIDEO: Menendez Responds to GOP Senator Toomey Claim that SALT is Subsidy to States like NY, NJ

Reads from letter by Dauphin County Elected Leaders that blows up PA Senator’s myth that Dauphin County residents don’t need SALT deduction

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Reading, in part, a letter written by Dauphin County Pa. Chairman Jeff Haste, Vice Chair Mike Pries and Secretary George P. Harwick, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tonight responded to the claim made by Republican Senator Pat Toomey (Pa.) that the State and Local Tax Deduction is a subsidy to states like New York and New Jersey.  His response came during remarks explaining the various ways the Republican Tax Plan hurts the middle class, increases the deficit, and helps corporations and the top 1% at the expense of working families.





Senator Menendez responded to Senator Toomey’s claim:

“Speaking of states subsidizing other states, earlier this evening the junior Senator from Pennsylvania said on the Senate floor that the SALT deduction is a subsidy to states like New York and New Jersey.   He said, I quote:  ‘I don’t know how it could possibly be fair to force my constituent who lives in, say, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, why they should pay more in income taxes to subsidize somebody who gets to live in a multimillion-dollar condo in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.’

“The hypocrisy here is just amazing to me. Far from subsidizing successful states like New Jersey and New York, there are states that are actually taker states. They get more than they send to the federal treasury.  In fact, according to the Rockefeller Foundation, on average, each resident of Pennsylvania takes nearly $1,500 per year in federal benefits more than they pay federal taxes. 

“Now even if the Rockefeller foundation is wrong, let me read part of a letter sent by some of the very county elected officials who represent Dauphin County:

‘As county elected executives representing Pennsylvania counties, we are writing to express our deep concerns with proposals to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) as the primary funding offset for federal tax reform. 

‘Across the state, more than 1.8 million households claimed the SALT deduction for a total of $32.24 billion.  We are particularly concerned that the loss of the SALT deduction will harm middle class homeowners and overall property values. 

‘Without the SALT deduction, our taxpayers would be doubly taxed.  Such a policy is contrary to the intentions of our founding fathers and overturns the precedents set in the Civil War income tax imposed by President Lincoln and again in the original federal tax code of 1913.  There is a strong rationale why SALT was included as one of the original six federal tax deductions.  Simply put, SALT is not a special loophole, but instead a core principle of fiscal federalism that should be preserved now. The deduction for state and local taxes reflects the fact that these are the ONLY mandatory payments by all taxpayers.’

“In contrast, each and every year, successful blue-chip states like New Jersey, New York, and Virginia contribute billions of dollars in tax revenue that goes to Americans in less productive, lower income states.  

“And now, Republicans are trying to take even more.  Well, we’re sick and tired of it and we want our money back. In fact, I’ll make a deal with you.  Since you claim to not support states subsidizing other states, how about you send all of the extra federal dollars you receive – the subsidy the rest of us pay to Pennsylvania – and transfer that to New Jersey. Sound like a deal?  I didn’t think so.”