26 High-Tax State Legislators Send Message to Congress: Eliminate State and Local Tax Deduction

With details emerging on the tax bill, twenty-six high-tax state ALEC legislators urged their Congressional colleagues to fully eliminate the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Opponents of tax reform are trying to pit high-tax states against low-tax states. Indeed, the ultimate extent of tax cuts nationally may hinge on the elimination of this deduction which subsidizes big government. For states who tax and spend and do not balance their own budgets, the elimination of SALT will force them to get their fiscal houses’ in order or potentially face taxpayer revolts. 

State legislators from the high-tax states of Maryland, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Nebraska and Colorado signed the ALEC letter to Congress supporting elimination of the state and local tax deduction. This growing grassroots movement is coming at a critical time as Congress and the President search for ways to give taxpayers much needed relief. View the videos of ALEC members giving their reasons for doing away with SALT.

Transcripts of interviews:

Gail Bates, Maryland State Senator

“I was very happy to sign the letter to Congress to repeal the deduction on the state and local income taxes even though I’m from a high tax state. Maryland is a very high tax state. I know it is counterintuitive but,  I really believe it is essential to get the tax reform passed. But, I also believe it’s going to help people in the long run throughout the country and hopefully it will encourage Maryland to begin to look at cutting taxes and spending.”

Cindy Pugh, Minnesota State Representative

“I was so pleased to sign the letter to repeal the state and local tax deduction. Representing a high tax state like Minnesota, I’m excited about tax reform at the federal level for the first time in 31 years. And, what that is going to do is, it’s going to force states, high states like Minnesota, to live within its means and we can do that and I look forward to doing that hard work.

Jim Buck, Indiana State Senator

“We need to eliminate the state and local tax deductions so that we can have the funds by which to provide for the overall tax reduction thereby simulating the overall economy. We’ve seen very clearly when you lower tax rates you stimulate your economic growth within you communities and your state so it is a common sense issue for me. To see that the federal government comes along side those that have taken the principles of low taxation and limited government, and watch the stimulus to your economy grow.”

“The wonderful part of eliminating SALT is that it will complete the unfinished business that Ronald Reagan started in 1986 under then the country’s largest tax reduction. If we can do that, this will allow, once and for all, this main piece of his vision to be accomplished. So that is eliminating the state and local tax deductions.

Ty Masterson, Kansas State Senator

“Everyone who knows me as a legislator in Kansas knows I’m against tax increases. But, what we have here with the removal of the SALT, the state and local tax, deduction, is the ability of the federal government to reduce the rates on the other side so overall our constituents pay less.”

Kurt Bahr, Missouri State Representative

“I signed on to the ALEC letter, along with hundreds of my other state legislators, so we can express the grassroots support for the elimination of this tax deduction that benefits those people in high-tax states to the harm of people from Missouri who are fiscally responsible enough and want to maintain a lower tax burden for our constituents.”