This week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden announced a new tax framework. The proposal is largely productive, and I wholeheartedly support its provisions to strengthen Main Street businesses, boost our competitiveness with China, and create jobs.
But the new proposal patently fails to address the state and local tax-deduction cap (SALT) that has been crippling hardworking, middle-class families in California for the past six years.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was the catalyst that fueled America’s booming economy prior to COVID-19 and the current administration’s unprecedented spending spree. But the TCJA also included a legislative middle-finger aimed at states like California. That middle finger is the SALT deduction cap.
Right now, the total amount of state and local taxes you can deduct from your federal tax filing is arbitrarily capped at $10,000. The average household in the 27th Congressional District surpasses this cap every single year, and it’s forcing those thousands of households to pay hundreds of dollars more in federal taxes.
This is one of the reasons that Californians are voting with their feet and abandoning our home state for those with friendlier tax climates. And there’s no doubt that blame for California’s punishingly high taxes and reckless spending rests with those politicians in Sacramento who control all three branches of government.
But it’s my duty as CA-27’s representative in Congress to defend your pocketbooks. You shouldn’t be penalized by the federal government with a form of double taxation, especially as California continues to be a donor state that pays more in federal taxes than it receives from Washington.
That’s why I co-founded the bipartisan SALT Caucus and currently serve as one of its vice chairs, leading the fight for responsible changes to the deduction cap that help all Californians.
The very first bill I introduced this Congress was the SALT Fairness Act, which is a bipartisan bill that would fully repeal the unfair SALT deduction cap and bring immediate financial relief to thousands of our communities’ families. I’m working to end the “marriage penalty” by raising the joint filing cap to $20,000 (instead of the current $10,000) as well, which is a solution that has the potential to draw significant bipartisan support.
The TCJA, and subsequently the SALT cap, expires in 2025. But Republicans have an opportunity to address the discrepancies of the SALT cap before then, and ignoring this issue only guarantees the far left will regain control of both spending and tax codes in 2025.
We can’t let that happen, and we must provide the SALT reform that so many hardworking families in CA-27 so desperately need.
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.