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Rep. Mondaire Jones Introduces Bill to Bring Tax Relief to Westchester and Rockland

January 29, 2021

Jones is an original co-sponsor of the SALT Deductibility Act, which would remove cap on State and Local Tax Deduction instituted by Donald Trump in 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) hosted a press conference to announce the SALT Deductibility Act, which would remove Donald Trump’s $10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction and bring urgently needed, direct tax relief to residents of Westchester and Rockland Counties. On Thursday, Congressman Jones introduced the bill with Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). 

“Donald Trump cut taxes for billionaires and big corporations and paid for it on the backs of hardworking families in Westchester and Rockland Counties, where we pay the highest property taxes in the entire nation,” said Jones. “That must change. Restoring the SALT deduction is a necessary first step to creating an equitable tax system – one where we put money back in the pockets of working people.”

The SALT Deductibility Act would:

  • Remove the cap on the SALT deduction instituted in 2017 as part of Donald Trump’s  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Allow New Yorkers to fully deduct their state and local taxes from their federal taxes.
  • Bring direct relief to Congressman Jones’ constituents, who pay the highest property taxes of any Congressional District in the entire nation. (By county, Westchester ranks no. 1 and Rockland no. 2.)

“When it comes to SALT, if you think Westchester and Rockland families needed and deserved this money before the coronavirus took hold, the stakes are even higher now because the cap is costing this community tens-of-thousands of dollars they could be using amid the crisis,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. “That is why I am proud to work with Congressman Jones to restore our full SALT deduction in this Congress. Double taxing hardworking homeowners is plainly unfair; We need to bring our federal dollars back home to the to cushion the blow this virus—and this harmful SALT cap—has dealt so many homeowners and families locally.”

“I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation to repeal the cap on the State and Local Tax deduction, a cynical policy passed by Republicans as a way to repay wealthy donors and lobbyists with big corporate tax cuts,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “The reinstating of the SALT Deduction will ensure that New York families have more money in their pockets, get much-needed tax relief and will once again be treated fairly.”

"New York needs the full SALT deduction restored to offer hard working middle class families tax relief," said NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. "Savings from deductions could mean the difference between having enough for food or medicine during this pandemic. Over the last 3 years, Trump's unfair attack on Blue States has cost New Yorkers over $30 billion dollars, while wealthy corporations saw tax breaks. I have called on Congressional partners and supported restoring the full SALT Deduction, and I applaud Congressman Mondaire Jones and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for taking up the bill."

“I want to thank US Congressman Mondaire Jones for his work, in conjunction with US Senator Chuck Schumer, to restore the State and Local Tax or 'SALT' deduction, said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “This federal tax law is not only double taxation, but it also unfairly targets communities like Westchester County – and every homeowner in this County is a victim.  In Westchester, where the average home is valued at $691,392.00, our homes are our greatest asset and this cap is a hit to our wallet.  We cannot stand for this – and we will not.  We won’t stop fighting until we overturn the SALT deduction cap.”

"At a time when so many Hudson Valley families are suffering from the impacts of COVID-19, there is no better or more appropriate moment to repeal the disastrous SALT cap,” said NYS Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley). “I sincerely thank Congressman Jones for hitting the ground running and going to bat for our region's middle-class taxpayers who desperately need relief."

“The best thing that Congress can do to lower the property tax burden in Rockland and Westchester Counties is to repeal the cap on the SALT deduction,” said NYS Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. “At the same time Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans were handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich and big corporations they put in place this cap that costs the middle class families of my district thousands of dollars a year. I applaud Congressman Jones for taking action to undo this attack on New York families.”

“I urge the federal administration to reinstate the SALT deduction in full,” NYS Senator Shelley B. Mayer (D-Westchester). “The move to cap the SALT deduction, a longstanding principle of tax law, was politically motivated and unconscionable. Since the SALT deduction was capped in 2017, families and homeowners in my district have been suffering under an added financial burden of double taxation, penalizing them for crucial state and local investments in essential services and public schools. Thank you to Congressmen Mondaire Jones and Tom Suozzi for leading this effort to reverse this wrongdoing to all New York State residents but especially our highly taxed homeowners of Westchester."

“The SALT cap has hit middle class homeowners in the gut,” said NYS Assemblyman Chris Burdick (D-Westchester). “Trump’s reverse Robin Hood tax cuts for big corporations and the superrich is paid for by average middle class citizens struggling to make ends meet in the pandemic recession.  The SALT cap must be repealed.

“The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Act) disproportionately hurts Democratic states like New York, where residents’ state and local taxes often exceed $10,000,” said NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester). “It is critically important that we repeal the Act and provide tax relief to New Yorkers right now - at a time when they need it the most.”

“The elimination of the SALT cap deduction, which is a tremendous financial burden on individuals and businesses in NY State, will provide much needed tax relief and will help spur economic growth,” said Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ben Boykin.

"I'd like to thank our new Congressman, Mondaire Jones, for making restoring the SALT exemption an immediate priority,” said White Plains Mayor Tom Roach. “This issue must be addressed by Congress this year to restore fairness to the system. Representative Jones understands this and understands that our taxpayers depend upon this benefit. I am glad to be working with him on this important issue."

Residents of New York’s 17th Congressional District pay the highest property taxes of any Congressional District in the country. The average property tax bill in NY-17 is $11,389. 45% of individuals (roughly 330,000 people) in NY-17 use the SALT deduction. The average deduction taken in NY-17 prior to the cap was $26,243. 

Full text of the bill can be found here.

About Mondaire: Mondaire Jones is the 33-year-old Congressman from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. He serves on the House Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Ethics Committees and is the first openly gay, Black member of Congress. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He later graduated from Stanford University, worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc. and has previously served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Most recently, Mondaire worked as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. In November, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership, making him the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. In December, Jones was appointed a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and became a Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Mondaire was born and raised in Rockland, and resides in Westchester.

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