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GOP fundraiser, Trump ally quits post over tax legislation

Steve Louro, of Nissequogue.

Steve Louro, of Nissequogue. Credit: Steve Louro

A Trump ally and key fundraiser for the state Republican Party in New York has quit his post, protesting the GOP-driven tax overhaul being considered in Congress.

Steve Louro, a Nissequogue resident who once hosted then-candidate Donald Trump for a fundraiser, resigned as the party’s regional finance chairman, according to an email provided by Republicans. He cited the scheduled Thursday vote on a tax bill that would eliminate or limit a key federal tax deduction used by many New Yorkers.

“With the upcoming vote this Thursday on tax reform I officially resign as Long Island Finance Chairman of the Republican Party. Respectfully yours, Steve,” Louro said, according to a copy of the email provided to Newsday.

Louro didn’t return a call or email seeking comment. He told The New York Times the tax bill was a “disgrace” and would “hurt a lot of middle-class Republicans.”

At issue is an element of GOP tax proposals in the House and Senate that would end or significantly alter one of the most popular deductions in New York: the ability to take a federal tax deduction for the amount paid in state and local taxes.

Under the Senate plan, 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. In New York alone, some $68 billion is claimed annually. The House plan eliminates the deduction for state income taxes paid while allowing for property taxes up to $10,000.

The House plan also would limit the deduction for mortgage interest paid.

As a result, most of the Republicans in New York’s congressional delegation have objected to the plan. They say many New Yorkers will get a tax hike while subsidizing a tax cut for other states.

“This is taking money out of Long Island and sending it to the rest of the country,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who said he understood Louro’s frustration.

Louro, an insurance executive who previously told Newsday he’s considering running for Suffolk County executive in 2018, hosted Trump at his home in August 2016. Suffolk County Republican Chairman John Jay LaValle said at the time he expected the event to generate $1 million for Trump’s campaign.

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox declined to comment. LaValle did not return a call seeking comment.

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