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Steve Bellone, in Albany, presses for defeat of GOP tax overhaul

Bellone and the state Association of Counties said the bill would cost New Yorkers by ending the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, seen here on

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, seen here on March 29, 2017, and other New York county officials visited Albany on Thursday. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

ALBANY — Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the New York State Association of Counties on Thursday called on Congress to reject a Republican tax overhaul that the county representatives warned would result in higher federal income taxes, declining home values and a faster exodus from the state.

The Association of Counties agreed to a bipartisan proclamation asking New York’s members of Congress to reject the tax bill. Backers of the measure say it will cut middle class taxes, reduce corporate taxes to encourage economic growth and simplify tax returns.

But county executives, including Republican Marc Molinaro of Dutchess County, warned that New Yorkers from the Hudson Valley to Long Island would lose because the bill would end the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Bellone, a Democrat. “For Long Island it could be catastrophic.” Republican President Donald Trump won Suffolk County in the 2016 presidential election.

The tax bill also would double the standard deduction, providing net savings to the majority of taxpayers nationwide.

The National Association of Home Builders and the Long Island Association said economists have estimated a 10 to 20 percent drop in home values without property tax deductions.

The counties association hopes to influence members of Congress as they seek to meld Senate and House versions of the tax bill.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a few others in Congress recently have voiced some support for the New York congressional delegation’s opposition to the state and local tax provision.

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said there are good provisions in the tax bill, but the loss of local and state tax deductibility has led many New Yorkers to reject it.

Democratic Nassau County Executive-elect Laura Curran also has written to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to ask that they restore the state and local tax deduction.

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