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Schumer, Cuomo keep pressuring GOP on tax deduction

SELKIRK — Sen. Chuck Schumer and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ramped up the pressure on New York Republicans Monday to buck party leadership and oppose a plan that would eliminate or cap a federal deduction that heavily benefits New Yorkers.

Under the plan unveiled by President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders, taxpayers who itemize their returns would no longer get to deduct the amount paid in local and state taxes from their federal taxes, changing a tax policy that benefits high-income, high-tax states such as New York, California and New Jersey. The change would eliminate one of the most popular deductions in New York — some $68 billion is claimed annually. Republicans are trying to get Congress to vote on a tax plan this year.

Schumer and Cuomo, both Democrats, said the plan would “tax the taxes” of New Yorkers and effectively raise federal taxes on millions of middle-class state residents. Opposition from the nine Republicans in New York’s 27-member delegation could be enough to sink the plan, Schumer said.

“They have to put New York first,” Schumer said. “They have to side with New York and not the deep-pocketed special interests.”

“We need Republicans . . . who are willing to stand up and tell their leadership to take a walk,” Cuomo said at a news conference held on the front lawn of a family they said stands to lose $8,000 or more, if the deduction is eliminated.

A number of New York Republicans, led by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island), already have sent a letter to the Trump administration, saying the elimination of the deduction would be unfair to New Yorkers. Reps. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) signed on to the letter.

King has gone further, saying “it’s clear people on Long Island would definitely lose” under the Republican framework.

That said, it’s unclear whether the New York Republicans would vote against the tax plan if no further adjustments are made. Republicans from New Jersey and Pennsylvania have voiced similar objections.

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