'Sends a Terrible, Terrible Message': Sanders Rejects Top Dems' Push for a Big Tax Break for the Rich | "You can't be on the side of the wealthy and the powerful if you're gonna really fight for working families."
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Sad, but not surprising that most people aren't reading the article and instead are just reacting to the headline. If you're going to comment, at least grapple with the substance of the article:
> According to a recent analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), 62% of the benefits of repealing the SALT cap would go to the richest 1% and 86% of the benefits would go to the top 5%. ITEP estimated that temporarily suspending the cap would cost more than $90 billion in just one year.
> "There is no state where this is a primarily middle-class issue," the organization found. "In every state and the District of Columbia, more than half of the benefits would go to the richest 5% of taxpayers. In all but six states, more than half of the benefits would go to the richest 1%.
Isn't ITEP a right wing organization?
The SALT cap isn't about making rich pay higher taxes (they have other alternatives) it is about hurting states with high taxes. Motivating them to cut taxes and social programs they are offering.
SALT is not a tax credit, it is a deduction, which means you don't pay federal taxes on taxes you paid to the state. Basically it prevents you from being taxed on money that you never received, because of state tax.
Bingo. Not to diminish the findings of the referenced study, but the SALT deduction cap was intended specifically to harm states like California and people who live and own property there and to incentivize high net worth individuals to relocate from states like California to states with low SALTs like Texas.
It may be the case that HNWIs benefit disproportionately from the SALT deduction, but the idea that the cap was intended to create a net benefit for ordinary Americans is preposterous. It was politically motivated and the intent was to erode the taxpayer base of democrat states and encourage rich people to move to republican states.
While I agree we need a SALT cap, the $10,000 cap was a pathetic assault on blue states and HCOL areas. New York State has a **MEDIAN** property tax of $8,000. Those of us over here will have burned 80% of our SALT deduction before even touching our income taxes.
Those on the far left complaining that we should leave the SALT tax exactly as it is are being as unreasonable as those saying it needs to be repealed in full. It was nothing less than a way for **ME** to pay for Trump's family to have less taxes. I am not in the top 5% but the SALT cap affects me. A lot.
One of the reasons I voted blue no matter who was to end the Trump tax scam. Fucking end it.
It boggles my mind that people don't understand this.
Trump caps the SALT deduction which forces blue states to pay for his top 1% income tax cut (they make out way better on the income tax cut than they do the SALT deduction). The states that get hit by the loss of the SALT deduction are by and large blue states that contribute to the federal government versus red states that take more money than they contribute. It's capped at a level so that people living in red states which either (1) don't have property taxes or (2) have low property taxes are unaffected.
So, it basically forces people in blue states to shoulder the tax burden of under-taxed GOP tax haven states.
And it’s not just property taxes. State and local income taxes are significant in states with services for their lower classes.
And worse, rich people fleeing New York and the like are largely doing so because they are being double taxed on their dwellings. Which means now not only are they costing me money but they are sending my state into a death spiral.
And of course, it was all intentional. Because ultimately to survive this blue states will have to cut taxes and end progressive policies. I genuinely thought Bernie Sanders was smarter than this. He can't see the forest for the trees here.
> And worse, rich people fleeing New York and the like are largely doing so because they are being double taxed on their dwellings. Which means now not only are they costing me money but they are sending my state into a death spiral.
Exactly this. I'm a very strong Democrat, who supported Bernie in 2016. What Bernie is missing is what you wrote, these types of laws will drive people from New York. And, it doesn't mean they won't keep their New York City apartments, and not spend time there although they can always stay in a posh hotel. But, they will declare residency in Florida and then pay no NY State and NY City income tax, and just fly back and forth from Florida whenever they want, and spend less than 6 months of the year in New York. The money they save in tax will pay for the travel expense. Ultimately, this will place much more of the tax burden on the middle class and lower class in New York, with the wealthy fleeing .
I know someone from DC, who still works and stays in DC for less than 180 days a year, and has residency in Florida. He saves about $50,000 in tax by doing so.
>And, it doesn't mean they won't keep their New York City apartments, and not spend time there although they can always stay in a posh hotel. But, they will declare residency in Florida and then pay no NY State and NY City income tax, and just fly back and forth from Florida whenever they want
gee, that sounds familiar... isn't there some D-list celebrity that does that?
Seriously. Openly abusing tax loopholes in front of the entire nation while openly abusing his position to put taxpayers money directly into his pockets and 70+million people cheered him on while begging for more.
Which probably is why where I live (NH) which doesn’t have a sales or income tax housing prices are skyrocketing
> I genuinely thought Bernie Sanders was smarter than this. He can't see the forest for the trees here.
100%. How he can't see this for what it really is is baffling to me.
NJ property taxes are the highest in the country iirc. You could own a three bedroom split level worth 800,000 and pay over $20k in property taxes. The middle class is definitely affected by this cap.
My entire family (and extended members) that owned property in NJ all left the state. Every. Single. One. After a lifetime of living there. They were literally run out of there by property taxes.
Which is the most insane thing. The more upper middle class and up people that you push out of the state, the worse you are, because those people are exactly who you want to keep. They pay more in taxes, but are more likely to send kids to private school, don't require welfare or subsidies, commit less "blue collar crime", etc.
It's hard to know for sure if the politicians know what they are doing or are just stupid.
It's so easy to fix the problem and that is to raise the SALT deduction to $30K or $50K. The 1% earning $500K + will still have the bulk of their income taxed as their SALT will be over $100K but the middle income earners will not be penalized.
But my fear is that they know how much money taxing the 100K-200K earners brings in. They play fast and loose with words knowing people will not understand what they are saying. If someone earning $150K saves $3K in taxes and someone earning $900K saves $12000 in taxes you can say that the majority of the savings goes to the 1% earners. But that doesn't tell the whole story. What if the ratio of $200K earners to the 1% is 1000 to 1? Although individually the 1% gets the most benefit, in terms of tax revenue it is coming from the $200K earners. I think this is exactly what is happening. This was an easy way to extract money from the "upper" middle class The government knows this but know they can get away with it because they claim it taxes the 1%.
The simple solution of raising the SALT exemption to a fair level would reduce tax revenue by too much and the pols know it.
It means getting caught in the FU tax bracket. Democrats say FU, give me your money. The Republicans say the same thing.
Same here I’m middle class in California and getting beaten up by the Trump removal of salt . 10,000$ isn’t enough for someone in this state between cost of property tax and state tax .
Additionally, the rest of the country keeps screwing the states that take advantage of SALT. Until things like Sandy relief sail through Congress with no issue, I’ve got no problems with the northeast diverting some federal taxes to pick up the slack that the federal government has dropped.
Surely there's a middle ground here. The cap is 10k. Raising the cap up to 20k or a bit more would help the majority of people who were affected who are middle and upper middle class and still keep it in place for the wealthiest in part, which is the vast majority of the tax income. Also, there's the question of if it just pushes those individuals to the states with no tax more than they are currently, but I don't have the expertise to know the actual ramifications of that (and the tax change is already in place anyway, so less worth it to undo that unless they are already seeing a negative impact).
Good answer. My taxes went up as a home owner in a coastal state under Trump's "tax cuts"
It would be nice to exclude some of my income I already pay to my local and state.
Putting a cap on it means it helps the middle class especially in expensive housing markets.
You will be hard pressed to find a house in Chicago with taxes under $10k. You don’t have to be too 1% either. Trump put that in to penalize cities/urban areas that went strongly against him.
Austin, Tx here. Absolutely nowhere near top 1%. My property taxes are almost $14k. If we paid off our house tomorrow we would still be paying more than $1,000 a month just to live somewhere we “own”.
Yes. Ours are $24k/yr. nowhere near 1%. But having a good safe neighborhood with good schools and parks was a priority to me. And my elderly parent lives with me so downsizing isn’t an option. And we didn’t have a car for 15 years thanks to this amazing location.
That’s why housing prices are cheaper in Texas than say California as a whole. Texas derives most of its tax income from property taxes vs income taxes and the opposite is true in Cali. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Oh for sure. We’re also in a neighborhood that has seen a lot of new growth since we bought our home 5 years ago. Our home value has gone up 35% in that short amount of time so if we ever wanted to sell we would make a decent chunk of cash but then we still couldn’t afford to live in this area anymore and we love it here.
Absolutely. Any discussion of state taxes gets very complicated because of these variations. I’ve been in my house 20 years, so thanks to prop 13 my property tax is about the same as it was when I bought. I pay higher income tax, being in California. I figure the government will get their money one way or the other.
That was their intent. Punish the ‘coastal elites’
And big cities in Texas! Our prooerty tax rate is high. I pay almost $8,000 in property tax, and I have a very modest house. Many of my neighbors pay over $10,000.
I agree, raise the cap to $20-25,000. This cap hits many middle class people as well as some lower income people.
But if your property tax in Texas is 8k and there's no state income tax, aren't you exactly the kind of person that isn't being hurt by the cap?
Oh my God, gray areas? Nuance? Not allowed! /s
I think he is right. It benefits the upper middle class to upper class mostly. People who live in apartments should not have to subsidize homeowners.
I live in an apartment in SF and SALT means I pay federal income tax on money I give to California for state income tax.
It's easy enough to increase the upper limit so it helps middle class but not upper class. This limit was put in by Republicans to hurt blue states. I think that shouldn't be lost in this discussion.
The SALT cap penalizes Blue States that have more progressive tax structures. The solution is to allow state and local tax deductions — without a cap — and to pay for the change with an increase to upper tier marginal tax rates. That way, the burden is shared by the wealthy in both Red States and Blue States.
Sanders is wrong on this. However, I will concede that if progressive tax reform is hung up on the SALT issue — then drop it and move on. This is not the hill to die on.
Agreed. Don't perpetuate a flaw. Fix it at the root in a sustainable, scalable way.
The SALT cap is poor policy. We should not tax people twice on the same income like that. But we should tax the rich more, so let's just tax them more. Directly.
New York Democrat here. I will personally never vote for a Senator or House Rep that voted for a bill that doesn't move the cap at all. Schumer and Gillibrand cannot vote for a bill that leaves it at $10,000 and expect my vote in the future.
I'm not unreasonable, I don't expect it fully repealed, but if it doesn't move at all I'm out. This GOP assault on my state is ridiculous and I can't be represented by someone who doesn't fight it.
The headline summarizes the issue quite well. The question is if Bernie is actually just posturing for negotiation reasons, or if he is adamantly rejecting the idea that SALT is regionally unfair. The Republicans are spiteful and will stick it to blue areas as they did with this ridiculous "tax cut" nonsense, however I have a long memory of the "Tax and Spend" Democrats of old. We really need middle ground here.
True... the wealthy benefit more from this.
SALT keeps more taxes in state. The states who benefit the most from SALT deductions are also the states that pay more into federal taxes than they receive. States who benefit most from SALT, also have higher state tax burdens. That higher state tax burden, balanced with a SALT deduction on the federal, keeps more of those overall tax dollars in state.
But but the wealthy...
The wealthy pay the greatest amount of the taxes collected. Where are you going to recapture tax dollars? So they get a break on their federal taxes, so that they can pay more on their state taxes, which you need. You need them to live in your state.....
Commondreams is such a hack opinion site... think mathematically for a minute. Of course the SALT deduction primarily helps rich people, literally any tax break is going to help rich people more than poor or middle class people, most poor and middle class people pay very little in taxes, rich people pay something like 90% of taxes. So this is disingenuous language designed to make you feel negatively about the SALT deduction and not engage your cognitive thinking.
But the reason the SALT deduction existed in the first place is because otherwise, ordinary people are taxed twice in states with high state income taxes. With SALT, the federal government recognizes “oh you already paid part of your income as state tax, we won’t tax you on the amount you paid to the state because you didn’t actually earn that, you paid it in taxes.” This deduction helps give autonomy to states who need to raise state income taxes to support government services.... states like CA and NY where people (Democrats) are willing to pay more to support their state government. It only hurts blue states to cap this deduction.
The benefits of these state taxes go primarily to lower and middle class households. When you cap these benefits, you see tax revenues fall as the wealthier people engage in tax avoidance (moving to TX or NV) while the lower and middle class not only pay more in taxes but see beneficial government programs bleed out from reduced tax revenue. Check the numbers, it’s early yet but tax revenues are down in high state tax states and populations are shrinking (even in sunny CA). That doesn’t help the middle class, who is also subject to the SALT cap and is getting double taxed. The poor never paid taxes to begin with and are unaffected either way. But everyone is affected when state tax revenues can no longer support government services which then get trimmed back since state budgets can’t be debt funded.
Don’t let your hate for rich people get in the way doing beneficial things for everyone.
I am firmly middle-class and would benefit from at least a small raise of the SALT cap for sure. State, county and city taxes add up fast.
>The tax break in question is known as the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which former President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers capped at $10,000 as part of their 2017 tax law. While the GOP tax measure was highly regressive—delivering the bulk of its benefits to the rich and large corporations—the SALT cap was "one of the few aspects of the Trump bill that actually promoted tax progressivity," as the Washington Post pointed out last month.
>While Biden did not include the SALT cap repeal in his opening offer unveiled in March, Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) are calling for a revival of the deduction.
So they wanna get tough by taxing the rich but get tough means we just cut the taxes in another part.
The SALT reduction cost my family (and my relatives) thousands of dollars in additional taxes. We aren't rich, we're middle class, but we live in NJ with very high property tax. This reduction targeted blue states flat out.
Yeah it helps people living in states that actually provide services for their citizens, without it it encourages a race to the bottom in taxes
Exactly. Eliminating SALT pushes states to cut taxes and become more reliant on federal spending; capping SALT pushes states to keep taxes below the cap.
Eliminating SALT was expressly intended to punish high-tax states by making their residents pay taxes twice on the same dollars, and by doing so to push us to cut budgets and benefits. SALT is how you finance progressive policies at the state and local level without having to rely on national politics. If you keep the cap while dysfunction in the Capitol continues, you’ll just be shooting yourself in the foot.
It's was an obvious blue state subsidy to red states.
NJ resident here.. Bingo!
It was a giant fuck you to the people that didn’t vote for him 🙄
Yep, and others have pointed out how some blue state budgets are suffering massively compared to those of red states because of COVID
Blue state budgets are suffering more than usual.
Red state budgets just suffer.
Red states have budgets?
How else would they spend the blue states money?
Without a budget.... someone asks for money and you just give it to them. Who cares how it's paid for, it's not your state's money
No, that's how they pay their underage girls for sex.
If anything they should just raise the cap a little so that clearly will only hit people who don't need the money.
And then to use COVID relief to cut more taxes.
Republicans, actually. Not probably. Actually.
Exactly. States not effected much by the SALT cap are already net takers from the govt, who vote against those handouts. For some reason.
I live in NY and pay over $20k in property taxes and I am not living in some nice mansion- it's a 1400sqft house.
I think it's important to recognize middle class means different things to different people because it has a very broad acceptable definition in the United States.
Edit: The replies to my comment and the replies to those replies are an excellent example of the point that I wanted to convey with my original comment and are worth reading. People have different ideas of what middle class means and there's always going to be considerable debate for where the lower cut off should be and where the higher off should be and while we can get distracted it's important to keep perspective; Whether your income is 5 figures or 6 figures in the United States you're just one healthcare emergency away from being insolvent.
Pew Research defines it as 2/3rds the median income, to double the median, which gives a range of about $40k to $130-$140k, which is a huge range. It covers half the country. But I would say it's fairly accurate in its characteristics- these are still people who primarily work for a living or have retired from a lifetime of work (compare to people who primarily live off investment income, be it real estate, business, stock, or other investments). Below $40k household income is at least strained financially, or in poverty, no matter what state/MSA you're living in. Above $140k you're at least comfortable, if not doing very well for yourself.
Yeah, you're right. I'm referring to the middle class specifically in NJ which would range from a single income of 80k to joint income of 150/200k
Crazy middle class in one state is high upper class in another. Cost of living is a hell of a drug, making 200k a year in Iowa or Nebraska would be a giant change
Exactly, in some counties in the SF Bay Area a household income ~95k is considered low income, and under~60k is considered very low income.
I think this is why so many discussions about economic disparities in the country are so easily derailed by conservatives—it’s easy to scapegoat “the liberal coasts,” when the actual numbers are so much larger, without any of the context of what it costs to be housed and fed in those areas.
Yup its literally poor people in rural states calling people in cities rich who make double their salary but who are equally poor due to cost of living.
And it's not like rural people would benefit from a mass exodus from cities with say tech work from home rules. Unless they are really rural they will get priced out.
This exact thing is happening in a lot of western states. They are pissed off because Californians who made 5x their income and have a hefty 401k are retiring in their states and driving housing prices through the roof.
Of course the solution is for these rectangle states to pay more, but still.
The problem is that non-visible forms of wealth generation like home ownership and 401ks balloon with cost of living.
When you sell a California house and buy a mansion in Oregon, you’re going to take a pay cut. But it will be affordable for you to live there. Oregon has similar minimum wage requirements to California but much lower cost of living. You can’t just make the labor market provide tons of $200k/yr jobs.
I’ve had people arguing that they’re middle class making $600k/year in California because they had to pay for their kids college and retirement. The house they live in will easily finance a retirement in most of the country. Just because you’re socking away 20k a month in your retirement, doesn’t mean you’re middle class, it means you’re planning an upper class wage based retirement.
If you have wages you care about, you're not upper class. Literally, the definition of being upper class is that your property and investments pay for your living. Maybe you draw a wage from the job you do for fun at your father's company or for grandma's charity, but you don't really care what it is.
Denver housing is insane right now. Like 7* what it was ten years ago
What I was thinking about was an article I read about Idaho. Denver has always been more expensive because a lot more people want to live there.
And ironically, a ton of Californians are leaving the state because they can no longer afford rent in California. This is being driven by the extremely wealthy buying multiple properties as investments, vacation homes, and money laundering schemes.
I live in Santa Cruz County, and rent went up 12.5% since the pandemic started alone. The least expensive house for sale right now is $850k, and it's across from the needle exchange, and a dead man was recently found in the yard. Check it on Zillow if you are in doubt (there are some condos for less).
This can't be because of more people, because the county population has gone down year after year, and the homeless population is way up, and the university was out for the last year, so much fewer students live in town.
It’s already happening in some areas. South Jersey rent and buy market is insanely hot right now due to ny exodus.
San Francisco has the highest rent and home ownership in the country. I’m not sure how anybody can afford to live in that city anymore. It’s outrageous.
It's why the argument about minimum wage is dumb, it should be indexed to cost of living in the area. In NYC $15 an hour isn't enough, but in rural West Virginia $15 an hour really would put a lot of businesses out of business, and then their employees would make $0 an hour.
I make 41k and live in Iowa. I basically provide for my fiance and we still don't live paycheck to paycheck. I save about $500-$700/month, which isn't a ton but we don't live under threat of paycheck to paycheck and I'm still able to buy nice things occasionally.
Even "just" $70k would be a life-altering amount of money.
Edit: To clarify on my savings - I've been saving about $500/month since early 2020, when COVID hit and I was no longer required to make payments on my student loans. My minimum student loan payments come out to $530/month (that's minimums on all of my loans). So once COVID is over I will not be able to save very much any more.
Saving $500/month is a incredible compared to most amercians. ~40% of americans have no savings.
I have been extremely lucky in my living situation ($800/month, about 1,500 sq. ft. and fiber internet) - without that I wouldn't be able to save nearly as much. The place I'm renting is really undervalued, even in my area. If I had to guess, if I tried finding a similar place to rent it would be $1,100/month or more.
> ~33k after federal taxes
That sounds too low. $4,816 is for a single filer on $41,000. And that is without knowing any other deductions they might qualify for.
Sorry, I meant it's not a ton because even saving at that rate it will take me a good few years to save up enough for a down payment on a house (maybe longer, depending how much I put towards my student loans)
I imagine that you do not pay $2,000 a month in rent for a one bedroom apartment like we do in the cities.
I'd kill for a 1BD for only $2k around here...
He doesn't, and he doesn't make as much as people in the city do
Wow, I always thought I was doing ok, but if middle class here in nj is 80k, I’m doing much worse than I thought
You also have to take cost of living into account. 80k in some places is worth more than 80k in other places
I live in NYC and grew up in NJ. 6 figures is nice, you're not gonna have to skip a meal or anything, but it's not like you're just gonna fuck off to your yacht or retire at 40 or whatever. You're still working.
Those SALT deductions really fucked a lot of those people.
Same here in NH, which has a similarly high property tax. We lost thousands in deductions due to the SALT repeal. Not rich.
Total agree, I live in Atlanta in a two bedroom home near mid town my property tax has been over $15k since 2012. The property tax is actually over 50% of my total mortage payment.
Im GA people over 65 are not required to pay property tax so most old white republicans, (that was redundant) dont care about the cap because it does not effect them at all.
Over 65. No property tax in Georgia? Holy cow.
Yeah, people are looking at just the top line numbers and not realizing the effects of the tax on people and policy. I agree that the wealthy should be taxed but this is a bad way to do it. The idea is that you aren't taxed as much on the money you spent to pay other taxes, which is not unreasonable.
The reason Trump repealed this deduction is to put pressure on states and cities to lower taxes and provide fewer services. It further incentivizes people to leave blue states and move to red states. The deduction reduced the benefit of trying to turn red states into "tax havens" and the Republicans hated that.
Same here in Maine. This IS a middle class issue.
Especially now that so many of us are using our homes as offices, and having to pay out of pocket to modify those homes to make it work. Companies can write off their office space costs without limit, but the workers are capped.
Fucking this. We're not rich, but we live in a state with one of the highest state income taxes in the US, and have super high property taxes. The SALT cap basically means we get double taxed on the taxes we pay to Oregon and on the interest we pay on our house, so it's like an extra 6k we have to pay in taxes.
And I don't mind supporting the community by paying taxes. But that cap was just to punish us for being in blue states.
Plus the SALT cap incentivized money to be spent locally...and frankly I'd rather my tax dollars be spent on roads and schools than another fighter plane to kill someone I've never met on the other side of the world.
It’s part of the reason young people are leaving CA for the rectangle states
And the dumbest thing about it, means I’m paying tax on money I used to pay other taxes.
It hits middle class earners in blue states, which is what it was meant to do. But now some Dems are piling on cause it also marginally benefits wealthier earners.
Yes, this. There’s a reason Trump included it, and it wasn’t to tax the wealthy.
This. The article is way off and needs to do its research at a more granular level. It was squarely aimed at middle and upper middle class earners in high tax blue states, most of whom themselves vote blue.
Yes, I and several of my friends are middle class and had to pay alot more taxes bc of the $10k cap. I say repeals it and restore the taxes on the 0 Fed Trump tax plan for the rich and ccorporations. I pay enough income tax as it is.
100%. My wife and I lose thousands of dollars due to this stupid fucking cap. We are decidedly middle class in NJ and live in a middle class neighborhood.
People are just stupid when it comes to this. This idea that the SALT cap only hurt the rich just shows how clueless some folks (and politicians) are.
This is something I don't agree with Bernie.
The whole SALT thing was meant so you don't pay tax on money that you never get, because you paid it as a tax to the state. Pretty much anytime who lives in a blue state and has a mortgage benefits from it Capping It isn't really about taxing rich, is about punishing anyone living in a state that has high taxes.
Sure that 60% of rich benefits from SALT, but those are ones who pay high state tax, but 40% is a significant part as well. Rich also have a way to get around these limits, like treating some of their investments as a business, which doesn't have this cap.
Plus, using this thread as an example, it keeps the rabble fighting amongst themselves while the truly rich laugh all the way to the bank with their top bracket (and corporate) rate cuts.
Negative. Check Texas, too. Our property taxes are high as well. A typical “middle class” home in the suburbs is around 300-400k, taxes on that is anywhere from 8-13k a year depending if you have a MUD tax.
[The top 1 percent of households would get roughly 60 percent of all the benefits of a SALT cap repeal, which translates to “an average tax cut of more than $33,000,” wrote Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center.](https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/01/joe-biden-democrats-stimulus-checks-1400)
Then don't repeal the cap, but adjust it to actually benefit people. I want the rich to be taxed as much as anyone, but middle class folks shouldn't be lumped in with them
Maybe we bump the cap to 20k. Then I could probably itemize again. Rich people will be capped at the 20k (for salt deduction), which in my experience (as a CPA preparing tax returns for rich people), will still leverage them into paying more tax than they did pre-TCJA.
Even an increase of to 15k would be so beneficial. It doesn't need to be removed completely
This tax deduction could easily be raised to $25000, help middle class and blue states, and really not change how billionaires are taxed. Shouldn’t the alternative minim tax do its job here too?
That’s a great idea. The same $400k threshold being used as the threshold for the ‘rich’
Yes, that's a fair compromise to shut up the people calling it a billionaire tax cut. Also need to get rid of the SALT marriage penalty though. 25k per person, married or single.
Middle class has been paying for everything, why stop now? /s
Is this just the salt cap? Because there used to be an AGI phaseout that could be used to nerf Richie Rich’s schedule A deductions. Bring back both.
Even an increased cap to $20-25,000 range would provide middle class relief in the affected states in question.
Or marriage adjusting it. As it exists now it is another marriage penalty in the tax code.
Yeah I couldn't believe it didn't double to $20k for married couples.
My husband and I bought a house to raise our family in.. and the deduction stayed at $10k. Why
+1 middle class Millennial family in California here.
Due to the high state and property taxes here, the removal of SALT actually raised my taxes, more than the actual trump tax cuts did.
It ESPECIALLY hurts young, first time home owners in CA due to prop 13.
Some napkin math:
- CA state tax is ~7.25%
- CA property taxes are around 1.1% (the median home in Los Angeles is $720,000)
If I make ~$150k as a family, (which is like the bare minimum to buy a house here), then the fact that I have ~17000 more in taxable income due to the removal of SALT tax pretty much wipes out any gain that I would get from the lower Trump rates.
Sure, I'm willing to agree that if I'm making $150k I'm not exactly poor, but $150k in LA, when adjusted for COL is less than 6 figures in most red states. Like I mentioned this is pretty much the bare minimum to even think about saving up 12 years to buy a house. (And then you get spanked by prop 13)
SALT isn't a tax cut for the rich, it's a tax cut for the middle class in high COL areas.
Can confirm. I was a NYC commuter that lived just north of the city and this was extremely painful to us costing us about an additional $3500 in taxes. By NY standards we were lower middle class. Our property taxes were actually more than our monthly mortgage.
Fuck any democrat that doesn’t support this roll back. Make the filthy rich in Westchester, Long Island and Manhattan make up the difference for a change.
The SALT tax measure in the Trump tax bill was a targeted punishment to blue states. That's the reason it's in the bill. And that's why it should come out.
They can easily work a cap on deductions that accomplishes the same thing without targeting NY, NJ, CT, CA, MA etc etc
Taxes that primarily targeted people in states with high taxes in the first place to deduct. Read blue states. It's a no shit why representatives from New York and California would push for its proposal and a rep from Vermont would oppose it
They could repeal SALT which was targeted at the rich in blue states and increase tax on the rich in all states.. It doesn't have to be all bad
It’s because a salt cap is designed to punish blue states that have high state income tax like California and New York and reward republican states without income tax like Florida and Texas. Remove the salt cap and then just increase the tax rate so it affects everyone fairly and equally
Dude, I am solidly middle class but I would be helped by this because I live in a high tax blue state.
It hit a lot of middle-class families and disproportionately in blue states. Usually I agree with Bernie, but not this time.
Fuck off, I’m not rich and my taxes went up significantly when the salt cap was lowered.
this one helps alleviate blue state home owners. we are talking middle class here.
At least double it for married filing jointly. The median house price in many parts of California is enough to go over 10K in property taxes alone
No. Bernie has got things wrong this time around. Repealing the SALT cap isn't primarily a tax break for the rich, because the individual states are trying to tax them *instead*. It enables states like New York to raise the state taxes (in fact, they already *have* last month in N.Y.) without increasing the overall tax burden unduly. Basically they're trying to carve out more of their share of the pie.
Imagine you've been paying more into the federal pot than tax havens like Florida, and when emergencies hit, you discover that while Florida regularly gets help from FEMA, you're told you need to play nice to dear leader (no matter how much more you've paid in, and how little you've taken out historically). Screw that. This gives them a chance to have direct access to and control over those funds, without being dependent on the whim of the federal government giving it back.
> ["Repealing the SALT limitation is a question of fundamental fairness. With the SALT limitation in place, New Yorkers — who already send $40 billion more in taxes to federal coffers than the state receives in return — face the manifestly unfair risk of being taxed twice on the same income," Nadler said. "Now, as New York State reckons with the vast economic impact of COVID-19, including a workforce depletion of more than one million jobs, eliminating the SALT limitation is imperative. I and many of my colleagues from New York stand prepared to work with House Leadership to restore the SALT deduction. We are equally prepared to oppose any legislation that fails to do so."](https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/04/13/new-york-is-taking-another-run-at-repealing-salt-cap)
Or this piece does a good job of explaining it:
> [Sen. Scott argues in support of the 2017 tax reform’s unprecedented cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductibility. This represents a tax increase of more than $600 billion nationally, with dire implications for New York. The senator claims that the cap “stops high-tax states from burdening the rest of us with their irresponsible decisions.”](https://www.wsj.com/articles/cuomo-florida-gets-welfare-from-new-york-11554152628)
> [New York doesn’t add to Florida’s bills—we pay them. In 2017 Florida took nearly $46 billion more from the federal government than it contributed, making it the No. 2 “grantee” state in the nation. New York is the No. 1 “donor” state. In 2017 we gave the federal government $36 billion more than we got back. The curtailment of SALT deductibility takes this gross imbalance and supercharges it, costing New Yorkers another $14 billion each year.](https://www.wsj.com/articles/cuomo-florida-gets-welfare-from-new-york-11554152628)
> [But SALT was never about economics. It was about politics. Its explicit purpose was to weaponize the federal tax system against predominantly Democratic states. **The 12 states most hurt by the limitations on deductibility all voted against President Trump in 2016.**](https://www.wsj.com/articles/cuomo-florida-gets-welfare-from-new-york-11554152628)
Emphasis mine. (Also: fuck Scott.)
It's another one of those things that sounds good when you first hear it until you understand how it actually works. This was GOP fuckery, plain and simple.
Bernie usually gets things wrong most times around. Great response in your part to this
If I understood correctly, it sounds like repealing the SALT cap would enable richer folks to get away with higher income tax deductions. Is that not an accurate understanding?
Federally, absolutely, you're right, which is why Bernie is talking about the optics. (And he's not wrong on that count. This is a convoluted sell.)
What the people who want to repeal it want to do is raise state taxes instead. As I said, N.Y. already has, and they're trying to explain that tax hike to their (less than pleased) constituents by fighting to repeal the cap which means those tax payers would break roughly even, and the only thing that would change is who gets the money. That matters for obvious reasons.
The cap basically put more money into federal hands, and they turn around and decide how to dole it out, except the way they do that is heavily skewed red. Blue states have been harder hit by declines in state budgets thanks to COVID ([by nearly 40% more; 13.8% vs 10%](https://www.moneygeek.com/living/states-most-reliant-federal-government/)) but red states have a significantly higher dependency on federal funding. (That's the percentage of the respective states' budget that comes from the federal government, and that isn't even looking at things like FEMA. Basically if you have lower taxes, then that percentage dependency goes up. Who pays for it?)
Blue states were also hit harder by the SALT reduction because NJ and NY have much higher property taxes than places like Alabama or Missouri. This doesn't just hurt the rich, but it also hurts the middle class folks that live in NJ, NY, CA, etc.
Never mind that “middle class” varies wildly from state to state and that $10k in SALT limits can hit someone that’s fairly close to middle class in a high cost of living area, even if they’re in a high bracket relative to the whole country.
I'm talking about the middle class specifically in NJ and NY. There could be a variable SALT based on state to better define middle class, I guess
But then how would we screw over blue states that actually provide their citizens with services /s
Which is literally the only reason it was included in 2017. Just like the lower cap on last stimulus relief. Someone making 80k in NYC needed that money more than someone making 75k in Alabama. The GOP saw a way to disproportionally target Dems demographic and dug in.
Exactly and it's why the cap should be raised if it isn't going to be reversed. Trying to paint the exception as some kind of "tax break for the rich" is extremely disingenuous
The SALT deduction repeal was always intended to hurt middle class and above people in blue states. That was its explicit purpose. That's why it was in the Republican tax bill. It was about "hurting the right people".
100% and, in this case, it did hurt "the right people"
Ok so to make sure I understand.
Because federal income tax deductions are capped lower, and that cap disproportionately impacts states with higher incomes, it creates a disparity between the effective return on investment in terms of dependency on federal funds.
By repealing the SALT cap and replacing it with state based income taxes that disparity would be minimized and result in a more reflective distribution of federal fund dependency:federal taxes.
Is that right?
That is [correct](https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/09/04/the-salt-tax-deduction-is-a-handout-to-the-rich-it-should-be-eliminated-not-expanded/):
> Almost all (96 percent) of the benefits of SALT cap repeal would go to the top quintile (giving an average tax cut of $2,640); 57 percent would benefit the top one percent (a cut of $33,100); and 25 percent would benefit the top 0.1 percent (for an average tax cut of nearly $145,000). The remaining four percent of the benefit of removing the cap would go the middle class (i.e. middle 60 percent), for an average annual tax cut of a little less than $27.
But you can also raise the cap. Raise the cap to 20k instead of 10k. This way the rich still get capped but you’re helping the middle / upper middle class.
Indeed. $10k seems unreasonably low.
The federal government needs to start looking out for high-cost blue areas. We're paying an awful lot to live in urban areas, reliably vote blue, but are cut out of most tax and COVID relief.
I want to upvote this 100x
It would, but would also prevent a bunch of people on high cost of living states to not get double taxed who are doing well but not the ultra rich. They probably could just make the tax something higher and you’d still prevent the ultra wealthy deducting crazy amounts. My state income taxes are more than the cap so I end up paying federal taxes on money that I already paid to my state in income taxes which feels… not great.
It’s not primarily rich people, it’s primarily people in high-tax (mainly blue) states, like NY, NJ, and Cali (source: me, who made little enough last year to receive all the stimulus payments, but still had my SALT deduction capped)
Yup, there's a reason it's been colloquially called a "blue-state tax"
There are also a lot of options beyond keeping the $10k cap and allowing the full SALT deduction. Moving the cap to 40k, for example, will basically fix it for all middle class families, while still not being a huge gift to the wealthiest.
I settle for them doubling the SALT deduction if you are married. So tired of marriage penalties for dual income earning families in our tax code.
in March, Democrats such as House Speaker [Nancy Pelosi](https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2020/03/31/speaker-pelosis-idea-repeal-salt-caps-coronavirus-stimulus-would-be-huge-mistake) (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader [Chuck Schumer](https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-29/schumer-house-democrats-make-formal-push-to-repeal-salt-cap) (D-N.Y.), and [Tom Suozzi](https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/31/centrist-democrats-panned-demanding-revival-major-tax-break-rich) (D-N.Y.) are calling for a revival of the deduction.
This very so important to stop out-migration from more expensive blue states.
Trump enacted this as a hit on CA, NY, NJ, CT, MA, etc to get back at states with high local taxes.
I'd actually argue that more out-migration from blue to red states would help democrats a ton electorally. Imagine if 500K Californians moved to Indiana? My state could be competitive if that happened. Same goes for Texas.
The problem is that jobs won’t let people move out of state. There is a huge push in tech right now for people to go back into offices in 6-8 months. We have all been working remote from wherever for the last year, but those expensive offices are sitting empty and Corp don’t want that.
Also, the human factor of the situation is pretty large here. I moved back from a blue to red state and it’s like a completely different world. I’m fairly tolerant, but between anti-maskers and blatant racism it’s hard being back even if my house is 1/3rd the cost. I know a lot of people that have grown up in blue areas and couldn’t handle the anxiety of dealing with that on the daily.
My wife and I have seen both our companies be mixed bags on the work from home stuff. Her boss has told her she doesn’t ever intend to have the team be in the office everyday. If people can do their stuff from home, then feel free to stay at home. But one of her coworkers boss’s wants everyone back at their desk every single day the way it used to be.
My company has the same sort of split, one of my VPs said he doesn’t ever think some positions will ever come into an office again. No reason to pay for office space since some work can be done from home. Meanwhile I’ve been going into the office everyday this whole time. Traffic has been nice though
Yeah, my job was the same boat. Basically it was Ok’d fully remote from my boss, his boss, and her boss. Then it had to get the final signature from that persons boss and they cancelled it all, which ment me leaving.
I can understand where you're coming from - it's hard to feel under attack all the time. I'm a northern transplant living in the South and was worried about the same thing.
After 5 years here, I strongly believe that the best way to fix these issues is to encourage more liberal people to keep moving into red places. We can build communities and interest groups where we feel safe. Perhaps most importantly, children of more liberal parents can introduce their friends to new viewpoints. Given, it doesn't always work, but it's possible!
Go to a red area, enjoy the life, be a good neighbor, try to live your values. Show them that liberals aren't all (🙄) scary abortion vendors 🤣 Help dispel fear of the unknown.
Hoping that you find comfort and security, friend.
Oh thank you so much. I grew up where I am now so I have about 20 years experience with all of this, but it seems more extreme now that I have been away for so long. It might be the same as it was but being an adult now makes me view it differently idk.
Things are definitely more polarized - shit has been crazy for a long time, but people weren't storming the capitol and arguing about politics 24/7.
You have every right to be in your hometown - you belong there just as much as any of them do. They have no right to intimidate you away from your spot!
Best of luck ❤
Would be better for society to move a lot of the tech jobs remote and use those unnecessary buildings for housing considering the demand
Businesses can whine all they want, but if the talent that makes them money doesn’t want to work in office their out of luck.
The people moving as a result of this are probably the more conservative among Californians. People forget how many Republicans live here.
Yeah the vast majority of people that leave California are conservative, based on the articles I've read.
I feel like most Californians I've met here in Texas that didn't move to Austin are conservative and are "fleeing."
Funny thing is I know a few conservatives in Texas who think the state is becoming too liberal and are planning on moving. Shit's a clown show. lmao
Imo, a lot of these people are just bad with money and blame liberals for their financial issues. They keep running away from themselves.
The tax brackets need to be reformed. The billionaire class needs to be separate from the $500m and lower brackets. This will help the small business owners with the burden of any higher taxes.
While I agree we need tax bracket reform, the confusion comes in when people try to tax the wealthy with income taxes. If a billionaire shows $0 in income, he/she won’t pay any income taxes regardless of what the tax brackets are.
I need an ELI5 on this- based on the comments it sounds like this may not be as black and white as the headline makes it seem, and Reddit’s unconditional love for Bernie is pushing down a lot of the nuance.
For all the complaining from conservatives about double taxation on things dividends and capital gains (which really isn't double taxation because the investor realizing the income isn't the same as the corporation that issued it), capping or eliminating the SALT deduction *does* result in double taxation.
Here's why. Let's say you have $10,000 in taxable income. Your state taxes are 4% on that income so you pay $400. Federal taxes are 15% on that. With SALT deduction, the federal taxable income is $9,600, yielding a $1,440 tax bill while without is $1,500. You've been taxed on the $400 you paid in state income tax.
This is beyond my knowledge but didn’t the AMT already cap how much SALT people could deduct? To some degree it looked like the Trump tax cut more directly implemented the same steps of the AMT through the SALT cap and then simultaneously raised the trigger point for AMT. I haven’t done the math so maybe there is a group caught in the middle that now pays more, but the idea of paying a minimum amount of federal taxes for high earners isn’t new.
SALT stands for "State And Local Tax", so a SALT deduction lets you deduct a certain amount off your federal taxes for what you had to pay at the state and local level.
When Republicans repealed the SALT deduction, they specifically did it to hurt blue states and blue cities. To Republicans, it was a Win-Win, with it helping them balance the Tax Cuts for the budget reconciliation process, without actually hurting red states and rural areas that vote more heavily for them.
So, long story short, getting rid of the SALT deduction was a targeted attack against cities and blue states that pay higher taxes, and whose higher State and Local taxes probably help take some weight off of federal programs that would otherwise have to spend more in the area.
Now, I'm not really familiar with thresholds on the SALT deduction, and how much it knocked off, so it's possible the way they are trying to reimplement it doesn't actually help people who might have needed that deduction, so take it with a grain of SALT.
I hope, when they reimplement it, that they lower the threshold to qualify for a SALT deduction, AND put an upper limit on how much you can deduct, in order to prevent it from being used as a loophole. For instance, we could make sure capital gains can't be used towards qualifying for the SALT deduction.
TL;DR: Getting rid of SALT deductions was a targeted attack on blue states and Cities by republicans, and you can only get SALT deductions by actually paying your State And Local Taxes, so... Sanders might be in the wrong here.
Since the other comment went pro-Bernie, I’ll argue against. You’re right, it’s not black and white. On the whole, it does skew toward taxing the wealthy. However, it hits the wealthy in blue states harder than those in red states, and also hits working families in a select few blue states. The argument against is that there are ways to tax the wealthy that taxes them all evenly and doesn’t also affect some working families
It also is the same deduction for a married couple as it is for an individual filer.
It further disincentives states from taxing the wealthy, because they will move. It benefits low tax red states. That's the reason Republicans supported it. They want to punish blue states for actually taxing people and providing services for it.
E: The tax deduction helps to balance out the tax havens the Republicans are trying to create. Taxes on the wealthy need to be raised, but this wasn't the way to do it.
I think the only red state that would be on board with repealing this is Texas, since they are famous for their super high property taxes to balance out their small income taxes.
>small income taxes.
Non-existent income taxes
Thank you. Working family in Oregon here, please remove that fucking SALT cap! We pay 9.9% state income tax and property taxes are half of my mortgage!
It's Common Dreams, they're editorialized to shit. A leftist Breitbart that doesn't care about context or facts. If the mods ever gave a shit they should ban both.
Like it or not, the SALT Cap was a way to tax blue coastal states as punishment for not voting Trump in 2016. It’s only right to repeal it. The same dollar shouldn’t be taxed twice, once at state and local level, once at federal level. The people here who are all for the Cap, should think about their reasoning. This is an either/or, not some half way/arbitrary 10k cap. You’re either for taxing folks twice, or not.
I hate to disagree with him here, and I hate to defend the wealthy, but on this occassion I have to.
The SALT deduction by definition effects those living in states and/or localities with high taxes. Those places are, almost to the last, blue. They are New York and California, and even more New York City and Los Angeles. The SALT cap was a targeted tax on enemies of former president Trump.
If you live in NYC and make more than about $110k a year, you are affected by the SALT cap. Yet, about 19% of NYC families make more than $100k a year. This isn't *just* a tax on the 1% or uber-rich, its a tax on the upper middle class in these places, and if it *were* a tax on the uber-rich only, it would still have been targeted against people who didn't vote for the president, a deliberate political punishment, which isn't okay.
This two party system really isn’t working, is it..
The SALT tax cap raised taxes effectively based on your zip code. It was remarkably effective at targeting blue states that have higher state and local taxes.
I think a good solution would be to keep the cap but raise it, and phase it out based on income. That way, the majority of the regular people (income less than X*fpl for their area) who saw their taxes increase would realize the benefit, and the top 1% would continue to pay.
Headline is misleading. Eliminating the SALT cap would have also helped the middle class in blue high tax states. It allows you to deduct state taxes from the calculations for federal income tax. Willing to bet that it affects a bunch of people in this thread that are like “wooo go Bernie!” If you want to limit its benefits for the rich, keep a cap but increase it to a fair level.
Hell, if they want to make sure it only effects the middle class they can add things like only deducting property tax for property they are currently domiciled in.
That would also reduce the incentive for rich people to pretend to live in their vacation home in Wyoming (or wherever) rather than their mansion on the Upper East Side of NYC.
Sanders is being far too shortsighted on this issue. SALT allows blue states to raise state wide taxes to keep within the state instead of sending the money to red states. Removing the cap will be a huge net benefit to states like New York and Connecticut.
One of the things that sucks about being a Democrat is that the talking points are often convoluted, but unless people understand what's behind things, it's really hard to get them on board. Somehow real life isn't as simple as "Drain the Swamp" and "Make America Great Again", you have to actually have *plans* how to do those things, and the GQP never does. Fair enough, they don't intend to either.
My son lives in New York and he is far from rich but this SALT cap cost him a bundle in deductions.
Regardless of who benefits, reducing your taxable income by the amount of taxes paid to another entity is perfectly reasonable. The cap was wrong when it went in, and this is just another of Trump's petty revenge notes that just needs to be reversed.
Right. The SALT deduction just means you aren’t paying federal taxes on the income that’s going to state taxes.
I live in a county where almost no one pays under $10,000 in taxes. We're not rich, but firmly middle class, living in a 3 bed 2 bath ranch. I love Bernie, but disagree here. The cap hurt people in higher tax areas, regardless of their wealth.
100% agreed, I think the people agreeing with Trump on this reduction think it only affected the incredibly wealthy, but that's absolutely not true
It’s super regional which is why the GOP did it. It “hurt the right people”
I definitely don't agree with Sanders on this one. The SALT cap was intended to penalize blue states (with higher property taxes) who voted against Trump. It may not hurt a lot of middle class people, but it hurt the right ones in the right places for Trump, and that's what mattered to him.
The whole point in having such a low cap was that it *did* impact the middle class in those states. That's *why* he did it. If you want the wealthy to pay their fair share, we can keep the cap, it should just be raised to much higher than $10,000.
Exactly - this whole thing wasn't meant to make the tax code more progressive it was a fuck you to blue states.
Sanders got this one wrong. It disproportionately hits high tax states, which are mostly blue. It also strongly penalizes you for owning a house.
They need to restore this and go after corporate gains, which is when the rich are really making bank.