Disagreement is one hallmark of a healthy political system, but bipartisan compromise is another. With that in mind, when the new Congress is sworn in in January 2023, the first order of business for all Republicans and Democrats in the New Jersey and New York congressional delegations must be—must be—to come together in full solidarity to fully achieve restore the state and local tax deduction for the benefit of our region’s taxpayers.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which imposed a $10,000 limit on the SALT deduction, had a disproportionate impact on a very few states, including New Jersey and New York. The reason is that residents of both states pay the highest property taxes in the country, as well as some of the highest income taxes. The SALT deduction is capped at $10,000 for no good reason, thus putting many New Jerseyans and New Yorkers, including middle-class families, at a disadvantage. This is all the more unacceptable given the fact that New Jersey and New York are “donor states” (ie they pay more in federal taxes than they receive in federal aid) and have been for decades.

Reducing the tax burden caused by the cap should be a top priority. Many of our members of Congress from New Jersey/New York ran for office promising to lift the cap. Now is the time for them to fulfill that promise.

New Jersey has 12 members in the new US House of Representatives (9 Democrats, 3 Republicans); New York has 26 deputies (15 Democrats, 11 Republicans). That’s 38 members, plus, of course, four US senators (all Democrats). In a closely divided Congress, this is a critical voting bloc that must be mobilized to fully restore the SALT deduction, beginning with 2022 personal tax returns due April 15, 2023.

As Senators Kirsten Sinema (R-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (R-WV) have done in the past, our NJ/NY delegations should withhold support for all major legislation until Congressional leaders commit to a fair vote on the full restoration of the SALT deduction. Delegations should then use all their powers to ensure recovery.

This is not and should not be a partisan issue. Working together across party lines, a renewed and steadfast SALT 2023 Caucus, which includes at least every member of the New Jersey and New York congressional delegations, can do just that.

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