Statement from Congressman Dan Donovan on Final Tax Bill
“I wanted nothing more than to vote for a tax plan that would put more money in the pockets of overburdened taxpayers and spur job creation. However, the bill that came out of the conference committee still means a tax increase for many Staten Island and Brooklyn residents. My priority always has and will continue to be the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn who sent me to Congress to represent them. Their interests come before Washington, always.
“For months, I’ve been fighting tooth and nail, together with Republican Reps. Peter King, Lee Zeldin, John Faso, and Elise Stefanik to protect the state and local tax deduction. Capping this deduction – which has been a part of the U.S. tax code since 1913 – will increase taxes and harm the already-unaffordable housing market in my district. Former President Ronald Reagan didn't eliminate SALT when he had the chance in 1986 due to conservative principles, and we shouldn’t remove it now. Additionally, analyses show that New York’s share of the country’s tax burden will grow by 9 percent – the largest increase of any state in the nation. Even this small capped deduction of $10,000 will be eliminated in 8 years, and once it’s gone it probably will be eliminated forever.
“We’ve taken our case to Congressional leadership, the public, and directly to the President. Sometimes that fight has been heated, but that’s our job: to look out for the families in our districts who are already living paycheck to paycheck. Our efforts resulted in some positive developments, like the protection of student loan interest and medical expense deductions, but it still falls short of accomplishing the goals that I strongly believed we could and should have achieved.
“With the state and local tax deduction nearly eliminated, this tax bill doesn't equal relief for far too many New Yorkers. It is still paid for by the middle-class families of Staten Island and Brooklyn. New York is a high-tax state, and this legislation should serve as a wakeup call to politicians who have been taxing and spending with little regard for the taxpayer. But that still doesn't make it right to penalize people even more. My responsibility and allegiance is to the people who sent me here, and I will not support a tax hike on the people I represent.”