Moderate Dems Josh Gottheimer and Tom Suozzi hold out hope for SALT deduction this year

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Moderate Dems Josh Gottheimer and Tom Suozzi hold out hope for SALT deduction this year

Moderate Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Tom Suozzi are holding out hope that the party can pass a version of the Build Back Better bill that includes language to raise the deduction cap on state and local taxes (SALT) by the end of the year. 

While some within the party have expressed a sense of pessimism that the party can work out an agreement on a scaled-back version of the sweeping social safety bill after centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) recently declared the bill “dead,” Gottheimer told The Post he believes the odds of the party sending a modified version of the legislation before the midterm elections is not out of the question. 

“I think the story of its death has been greatly exaggerated. I think in its current incarnation, it’s not seeing the light of day, ultimately, as the senator said. I think there’ll be another incarnation of it and I remain optimistic about that,” the New Jersey Democrat said. “I think there’s work being done and so I think salt is alive and still alive. And well in that scenario.”

Both Gottheimer and Suozzi have been some of the most vocal advocates for SALT, playing a pivotal role in getting the language to increase the cap from $10,000 to $80,000 into the House-passed bill, having threatened to withhold their support for the measure if it was excluded. 

Rep. Tom Suozzi has also advocated for raising the SALT deduction cap.
Rep. Tom Suozzi has also advocated for raising the SALT deduction cap.
BRIGITTE STELZER

“No SALT, no deal! In November, the House passed Build Back Better, legislation that addressed the SALT cap. This legislation has been held up in the Senate ever since,” Suozzi said in a statement.  “A SALT fix must be part of the Senate’s version of Build Back Better. New Yorkers need relief now.”

Despite negotiations being stalled in the upper chamber and progressives including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) alleging the language provides a tax cut to the rich, Gottheimer said he’s confident the provision would make it into a final bill if lawmakers can come to a consensus, noting Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has fought for policy.

 Gottheimer argued that progressive criticisms of increasing the cap are unfounded, making the case that it is “a middle-class issue” that affects “cops and firefighters and teachers” in high tax states. The New Jersey Democrat added that he believes the current policy is driving individuals that live in states like New Jersey and New York to move to states with a lower tax burden, which he believes could be detrimental to their communities. 

Sen. Joe Manchin called the Build Back Better Bill "dead."
Sen. Joe Manchin called the Build Back Better Bill “dead.”
AP

“I think the hypocrisy of the far left, and if they actually care about folks they should want to make sure it’s all restored because the states that tend to pay more and have higher tax burdens, but the states that are higher cost states and that do more for folks and invest more in communities and families, you would think that they would be more for this,” he said. 

“And I’m shocked by how they don’t get it, and so that’s always a surprise to me. I’m always surprised that the far right is against it because if they believe in lower taxes, you would think there’s plenty of Republicans that live in our states, you would think that they would want lower taxes for families.”

“One big point that I like to remind some of my more progressive friends, including Mr. Sanders —  who obviously is a socialist, not a Democrat — that for states like ours, where we have great schools and great police departments and programs that look out for folks if we keep losing people and losing our tax base, and people are leaving not coming, that it’s very tough to keep these great schools and, and great firefighters and cops which is a real issue,” he continued. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders has said that raising SALT deductions amounted to a tax cut for the wealthy.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has said that raising SALT deductions amounted to a tax cut for the wealthy.
Getty Images

While Manchin has asserted the bill is dead in its current form, he recently expressed an openness to supporting parts of the legislation, calling for bipartisan input on the legislation. 

“Well, the Build Back Better, as it has been presented over, what, the last seven, eight, nine months — that bill no longer will exist, OK?: he said. “… My biggest concern, and my biggest opposition — it did not go through the process,” he told CNN on Sunday. 

“[Republicans] should have at least the opportunity to have input. It should have gone through the committee. These are major changes. It is going to change society as we know it. And those changes, there should be a hearing. There should be a markup. And then you’re going to have a better product, whether your friends on the other side vote for it or not. But they have to have input.”

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