Court upholds Trump legislation limiting state tax deductions

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A federal appeals court docket Tuesday unanimously rejected a swimsuit filed by ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to overturn a tax overhaul legislation accredited by former President Donald Trump in 2017 that restricted federal deductions on state and native taxes.

The $1.5 trillion legislation imposed a $10,000 cap on itemized SALT deductions that taxpayers might write-off on their federal returns, which supplied Trump and the then-Republican-led Congress extra revenues to pay for different federal tax cuts.

The SALT cap largely impacts the wealthiest taxpayers in excessive tax Democratic states within the Northeast — New York and New Jersey, and Connecticut, in addition to California.

The Trump tax reform lower taxes for rich Americans and dramatically slashed the company tax charge from 35 % to 21 %. But many low and average earnings taxpayers additionally benefited from the Trump-era federal tax cuts.

One research even concluded that New Yorkers general benefitted from the Trump tax modifications, undercutting Cuomo’s claims that it broken residents.

New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland joined New York in what many specialists believed was a long-shot bid to overturn the federal legislation that restricted the SALT deduction. Cuomo and different plaintiffs claimed the legislation was unconstitutional and trampled on state’s rights and sovereignty.

In a 3-0 choice, the judges for the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan disagreed, delivering a stinging defeat to New York and different plaintiff states.

“What really propels the plaintiffs’ view that Congress is constitutionally foreclosed from eliminating or curtailing the SALT deduction is their position that, until 2017, Congress had never done so. We disagree that the Constitution imposes such a constraint on Congress,” stated Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier.

“They point us to nothing that compels the federal Government to protect taxpayers from the true costs of paying their state and local taxes. We reject the Plaintiff States’ contention that the Constitution mandates the SALT deduction.”

Andrew Cuomo
A federal appeals court docket rejected a swimsuit filed by ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to overturn a Trump-era tax overhaul legislation.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool

New York claimed in court docket papers that the SALT cap might trigger dwelling fairness values within the state to plummet by over $60 billion, in-state spending to lower by $1.26 to $3.15
billion, and the financial system to lose between 12,500 and 31,300 jobs.

Cuomo additionally estimated New York taxpayers would pay $121 billion of additional federal taxes from 2018 to 2025 due to the cap on SALT deductions.

But the judges, upholding a district court docket choice in 2019, dismissed the alarmism.

“Without baseline figures to put these numbers in context, however, we are not convinced by the argument. We do not mean to minimize the Plaintiff States’ losses or the impact of the cap on their respective economies. But we find it implausible that the amounts in question give rise to a constitutional violation,” Lohier stated within the 36-page ruling.

“The SALT deduction cap has no effect on state sovereignty. The outsized effect of the SALT deduction cap on the Plaintiff States arises only because the Plaintiff States previously benefited most from the SALT deduction, not because the cap applies to some States but not others.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed the states’ enchantment.
AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

The judges additionally pooh-poohed the argument, typically cited by Cuomo publicly, that Trump and Republicans in Congress unfairly punished Democratic states.

“The Plaintiff States complain that Congress unfairly targeted them. Given our discussion of the statutory history, it is obviously true that members of Congress were aware that the SALT deduction cap would adversely affect some states more than others. But the SALT deduction cap is not unlike the countless federal laws whose benefits and burdens are unevenly distributed across the country and among the several States,” the judges stated.

“We agree with the District Court that the SALT deduction cap will not be coercive in violation of the Tenth Amendment or the precept of equal sovereignty.

State Attorney General Letitia James, which filed the states’ enchantment, declined remark.

New York’s Congressional delegation is pushing to repeal or calm down the SALT cap as a part of present President Joe Biden’s “Build it Back Better” legislative bundle.

Tom Suozzi
Tom Suozzi stated the Democrats should go a legislation to revive SALT deductions.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that repealing the SALT cap might price the US Treasury $88.7 billion this yr.

Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Nassau/Queens) stated Tuesday evening that he “never counted on the lawsuit” and stated the Democrats — who maintain a slim majority within the House and the Senate — should go a legislation to revive SALT deductions.

“No SALT, no deal,” stated Suozzi, referring to negotiations on infrastructure and different spending Biden and liberal Democrats are pushing in Congress.

But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens) voted in opposition to a invoice in 2019 to repeal the cap on SALT deductions, saying it was a giveaway to the rich.