Lowey Condemns Devastating Impact of GOP Tax Plan on Hudson Valley Residents
WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, today joined caregivers, Realtors, and other Hudson Valley taxpayers at a press conference in White Plains to discuss the devastating impact of the House Republican tax plan on middle-class Hudson Valley residents.
New York leaders who joined Congresswoman Lowey at the press conference included Dorothy Botsoe, President of the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS (HGAR); Barry Kramer, President Elect of HGAR; and Frank Schnecker, Ossining Board of Education member and Vice President of the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association.
“The numbers are in, and we know that what the Republicans promised would be a middle-class tax cut is actually a tax scam that would raise taxes on millions of middle-class Americans,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “Democrats are ready and willing to work together to provide tax relief for the middle class, but we can’t do that by squeezing New York families residing in some of the highest cost of living areas in the nation. As the House prepares to vote on the Republican tax bill this week, I have a message for my colleagues: A vote for this tax scam is a vote to increase taxes on middle-class New York families.”
The Republican tax plan, which is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House this week, would raise taxes on millions of middle-class Americans, including Hudson Valley taxpayers, by eliminating and slashing key deductions:
- Slashes the state and local tax deduction. In New York, 35 percent of taxpayers deduct an average of more than $22,000 every year. In New York’s 17th Congressional District, 45 percent take an average state and local tax deduction of more than $26,000. Eliminating the deduction would increase New York taxpayers’ liability by an estimated $17.5 billion. The House Republican bill would allow only deduction of up to $10,000 in local property taxes, while the Senate version of the bill would outright eliminate the full deduction.
- Eliminates the medical expense deduction. This deduction helps prevent medical bills from crushing millions of American families with debt. Eliminating this deduction would hurt seniors, sick people, and families facing infertility. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, most taxpayers who claim the medical expense deduction have incomes below $100,000, and more than half of those who claim it are 65 and older. A Center for American Progress report indicates more than 27,000 people in New York’s 17th Congressional district deducted a total of more than $288 million in medical expenses from their 2014 tax returns.
- Cuts the current mortgage interest deduction in half. The House Republican bill caps the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000—half of the current $1 million cap. This would hurt thousands of New York households, especially in New York’s 17th Congressional District, where 43.3 percent of homes are valued at over $500,000.
“The tax reform proposal currently in the House and Senate would decrease home values, increase property and income taxes and put home ownership out of reach for many Americans in New York and the rest of the country,” said Dorothy Botsoe, President of the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS. “If these tax proposals are enacted people would not itemize on their taxes and not take advantage of the deductions that home ownership offers. This plan would also blow a hole in state and local budgets and force a fiscal crisis on the state of New York. We urge New Yorkers to oppose this.”
“The proposed changes to the federal tax code are a direct attack on local public education funding. If New Yorkers are no longer able to fully deduct their state and local taxes from their IRS federal filings, it will leave a huge hole in their wallets,” said Frank Schnecker, Ossining Board of Education member and Vice President of the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association. “The Westchester Putnam School Boards Association is concerned about the impact this will have on our taxpayers, and on the ability of our school districts to raise the revenue needed to support an appropriate, well-rounded education for every student...especially given our regional reliance on local property tax. Under the proposed reduction in deductibility, there will be undue pressure to cut school district expenditures, and this will ultimately starve our schools of needed resources. At a time when student need is increasing and there is clear understanding of the short and long term benefits of addressing students’ mental health and other issues, we need more, not less, federal support for public school districts.”
“Given the trajectory of Alzheimer’s, the day will come when we will be spending far more on medical costs than we’ll be bringing in from our pensions and Social Security payments,” said Ellen Belinsky, a Spring Valley resident whose husband, Irwin, has Alzheimer’s. “Losing the medical tax deduction would present a major hardship, which would be exacerbated by the loss of state and local tax deductions. Even now, before reaching the long-term-care stage, our medical deductions allow us to pay for our medications, make charitable contributions, enjoy the company of friends at restaurants, visit out of state family members, eat organic fruit and vegetables. What will we give up first if we lose the deduction—will we have to give up everything?”
Despite Republican claims this bill would help the middle class, the numbers don’t add up:
- Next year, nine percent of middle-class filers, those earning between $49,000 and $86,000, would pay more in taxes.
- By 2027, 31 percent of those filers would pay more in taxes.
- By 2027, even the poorest 40 percent of the country would experience an average tax increase.
- More than 45 percent of households would pay more than they currently pay in 2027 under the plan, including nearly half of households making between around $225,000 and $300,000.