EDITORIAL: A sign of hope
It’s business as usual in Washington as dysfunctional partisan politics prevails. The recent schism has resulted in a government shutdown that is on course for being the longest one yet, beating even the lengthiest federal shutdown thus far in 1995 that lasted for 21 days. Let’s hope not.
However, through all of the discourse that’s now taking place – which doesn’t seem to allow our representatives to get anything accomplished – there is a ray of hope right here on Long Island: the team of Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-3rd CD) and Congressman Pete King (R- 2nd CD).
On Tuesday, the two elected officials put their differences aside to hold a joint press conference and announce a bipartisan bill they plan to introduce that would reinstate the deductions for state and local taxes, also known as SALT.
In 2017, a $10,000 cap was placed on SALT deductions. It was a move that affected many on Long Island, where the average tax burden could reach close to $20,000. The results could be devastating, especially for middle-class families struggling to reside in one of the highest-taxed areas in the country.
According to King, Long Islanders are unfairly targeted in this move since for every dollar that’s sent to Washington from the area, only .79 is recouped. “That’s a $48 billion shortfall,” King said. “This legislation is critical.” Suozzi added that 43 percent of the homeowners in his district have also been financially hurt by not being able to fully claim all of their property taxes.
The bill, H.R. 257, is slated to retroactively reinstate a full deduction for SALT. If it passes, that would be a major win for the congressmen and for all Long Islanders as well. Equally important though, the coup would be one where politicians from both sides of the aisle were able to work together to get something done for the benefit of constituents.
Now that’s how democracy works.
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