WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, today pressed President Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, David Kautter, about the Trump Administration's tax reform blueprint. He specifically asked about the effect of eliminating the state and local tax deduction, which would hit New Jerseyans, who pay among the highest property taxes in the nation, particularly hard.


Earlier in the day, Sen. Menendez had asked four former Assistant Secretaries for Tax Policy during separate testimony about the state and local tax deduction, noting that the Trump tax plan could raise taxes on about one-quarter of all middle-class families.

“The President’s tax proposal and the House Republicans’ tax reform blueprint call for the elimination of the state and local tax deduction, which would hike up taxes on thousands of New Jersey families and millions more around the country,” Sen. Menendez pointed out. “Do you believe it’s fair to force individuals and families to face double taxation while large multinational corporations are able to avoid such treatment?”

Jonathan Talisman, the former Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy from 2000-2001, responded that eliminating the state and local tax deduction could cause “collateral consequences” and amount to an “unfunded mandate,” and that he was worried about it.

“While on the campaign trail, the President promised to cut taxes on the middle class, but we see that under his plan, the top 1%, the millionaires and billionaires would receive nearly half of all the tax cuts, getting an average of $175,000 back, while almost a quarter of middle-class families would actually see a tax increase. Do you believe the President should sign a tax reform bill that raises taxes on almost a quarter of all middle class families?” Sen. Menendez asked.

Aside from Kautter and Talisman, the Committee heard today from Former Assistant Treasury Secretaries for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur (2012– 2017), Pamela F. Olson (2002– 2004), and Eric Solomon (2006– 2009).