SALT Cap Opponents Pull In Union Support to Promote Repeal

House Democrats agitating to lift the cap on state and local income tax deduction are enlisting teachers, firefighters and other union members to demonstrate the impact on workers in high-tax, heavily unionized states like New York and New Jersey.

“The bottom line is the SALT cap is anti-union. The states that are most affected by the SALT cap are states that have the highest levels of union membership in our country,” Representative Tom Suozzi, a New York Democrat, said at a news conference Wednesday. “Other states that are not affected by it are often anti-union.”

Curbing the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction has “chilled the investment” in education, health care and public sanitation, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “We need to recreate the incentive to have the state and localities provide these services.”

The show of support from union members come as moderate and progressive Democrats are move closer to a compromise on how to address expanding the SALT deduction later this year in legislation advancing President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion economic plan. The tax break was capped at $10,000 in the 2017 tax law passed under then-President Donald Trump. Democrats representing high-tax states have been seeking to repeal since then.

Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders on Tuesday released a draft outline of a proposal that included $120 billion in SALT relief. That wouldn’t permanently repeal the $10,000 cap for all taxpayers, but could increase the amount some taxpayers are allowed to write-off. A complete repeal would cost about $385 billion, according to an estimate from Suozzi, who is sponsoring a bill to eliminate the cap.