Rep. Zeldin a NO on Final Tax Reform Bill
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) issued the following statement after the release of the final Conference Report of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), which is expected to be voted on as early as next week:
"I am a NO on the final tax reform bill. Getting this bill done and getting this bill done right should not have been a binary choice. My goal in this tax reform mission has always been to ensure that the hard working men and women of Long Island keep more of their paycheck, reduce their cost of living, and are able to save more for retirement. Unfortunately, this bill is not the tax relief that was expected.
I like many aspects of this final agreement, including the expansion of the Medical Expense Deduction, preservation of critical education and student deductions, and strong corporate tax reform that will stimulate job creation and make America more competitive in the global economy. Reducing the corporate tax rate to 21%, for example, is great, but it should not be done on the backs of ANY hard working, middle income taxpayers. I still don't understand why spending cuts couldn’t have been used as a more responsible pay for.
On balance, this bill remains a geographic redistribution of wealth, taking extra money from a place like New York to pay for deeper tax cuts elsewhere. New York is a net contributor that now will be contributing even more. This bill chooses winners and losers in a way that could have and should have been avoided.
While adding back in the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction to a $10,000 cap was progress, it was not enough progress. While I support fully maintaining the SALT deduction, a better policy if a change was to be made would have been a phase down of SALT over a period of time to a level that fully protects middle income itemizers. With that being said, we must realize that our deduction is so high because our state and local taxes are so high, which means that ALL levels of government must work on tax relief moving forward.
I wish I could get to a YES on this bill, but when it comes to my district and my state, this proposal leaves too many people out in the cold. There was a massive missed opportunity here to fix this bill for millions of Americans who also desperately needed tax relief and ended up getting screwed by the handicap of rigid ideological blinders and a countdown clock that really wasn't yet at zero."