December 11, 2017

Harris Applauds Hundreds of California City Officials Calling on California Members of Congress to Save SALT and Key Economic Development Tool

SACRAMENTO – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris applauded hundreds of California city officials today who sent a letter recently urging California members of Congress to support a proposal from U.S. Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) to improve the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). Provisions in the proposal would preserve the state and local tax deduction (SALT) and protect the tax-exempt status of Private Activity Bonds.  

“This GOP Tax Bill is shameful and does not reflect the best of who we are as a country. Republicans in the House and Senate have handed corporations and the top 1% of Americans a permanent tax cut at the expense of millions of hardworking Californians and their families. Instead of playing politics with people’s lives, we should be delivering for the American people who have spoken out loud and clear against this bill,” Harris said.

Eliminating the deduction for state and local income taxes would hurt hard-working California families and only add to the housing affordability crisis in the state by cutting back on a key incentive for homeownership. In 2015, 6.1 million California taxpayers claimed the SALT deduction with the average deduction at around $18,000. 

Tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs) are an important tool for state and local governments to help finance major public projects, including transportation and water infrastructure, affordable housing construction, schools — all of which are essential for job growth, healthy economies, safe communities and the nation’s economy. Eliminating PABs’ tax-exempt status would drive up the costs of borrowing for these projects by 25–35 percent and be a disincentive to spurring private sector investment in cities.    

“California city officials thank Reps. Lance and Gottheimer for putting forward a proposal that would prevent harm to California families by striking a reasonable balance that finds a solution to keep pro-growth tax reforms while simultaneously preserving critical pro-growth policies and tools,” said League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. 

The letter, along with the names of the hundreds of city officials who signed on, is available on the League website.