Democratic congressional candidate Perry Gershon said Thursday that, if elected, the first bill he plans to introduce would repeal the cap on state and local tax deductions contained in the federal tax law passed last year.
Gershon, who is running against Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) to represent the 1st Congressional District, said the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions will hit Long Islanders in April when they go to pay their taxes.
“The cap on SALT deductions took a chunk out of all our pocketbooks, and we haven’t felt it yet,” Gershon said at a news conference with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri outside Patchogue Village Hall. “We haven’t seen the impact on home prices, we haven’t seen the impact on taxes because we don’t pay until April. But it’s going to hurt all of us.”
Zeldin voted against the Republican tax plan because of the SALT cap, which hits high-tax states particularly hard. He has also supported efforts to reverse it.
At the news conference, Bellone said the Republican-led tax plan would “devastate” Long Island.
“Perry Gershon is going down to Washington to put our hard-earned tax dollars back into the pockets of firefighters, teachers, nurses and cops and construction workers,” Bellone said.
In a statement, Zeldin attacked Bellone for what he called poor fiscal management of Suffolk County.
“If Bellone is so unsatisfied with being County Executive that he wants to dedicate so much of his energy to political gamesmanship, grandstanding, and showboating rather than actually governing then he should do Suffolk County taxpayers the greatest favor possible and just resign," Zeldin said in a statement.
Also on Thursday, Bellone campaigned with Democratic attorney general candidate Letitia James at the site of a former “zombie house” in East Patchogue.
James, the New York City public advocate, said she would continue to fight zombie homes that are going through the foreclosure process by continuing to fund and support the New York Land Bank program, which transforms abandoned properties, and aggressively enforcing New York’s Zombie Law so repairs to homes are done and penalties imposed. She also said she would go after banks and loan services that don’t follow state laws that require loan modifications, which would prevent foreclosures in the first place.
“The laws and resources are in place to help rehabilitate communities, but we must continue to enforce and fund these programs,” she said.
Her Republican opponent Keith Wofford's spokesman, E. O'Brien Murray, said James "has done nothing to save homes in her own community... One thing that destroys a neighborhood is having an abandoned home that brings blight to any community and Keith Wofford will continue to fight for neighborhoods on Long Island."