Comparing GOP lawmakers’ statements on the tax plan

Comparing GOP lawmakers’ statements on the tax plan

Comparing Reps. Tom Reed and Dan Donovan’s statements on the tax plan
December 20, 2017

Tom Reed and Paul DonovanRep. Tom Reed (Photo by Paul Morigi) and Rep. Dan Donovan (screenshot)

Today, the House of Representatives passed an updated version of the Republican tax plan, after the Senate approved the bill yesterday. Of the 12 Republicans in the House who voted against the bill, five were from New York, and opposed the bill in large part because it caps the state and local tax deduction for income, sales and property taxes at $10,000. The four Republicans from New York who voted for the bill did so in part because the deduction was preserved. Below, we look at two press statements, one from Rep. Tom Reed, who voted for the bill, and from Rep. Dan Donovan, who opposed it.




DECEMBER 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – After clearing the House and Senate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is on its way to the President’s desk. Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23), a member of the tax writing Ways and Means Committee, was instrumental in shaping legislation that ensures historic tax cuts for hardworking Americans and the launch of a new era of economic opportunity, growth and job creation.

“I have been working on crafting this legislation for seven years, which will lower taxes not only for hardworking New Yorkers, but all Americans,” Reed stated. “This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform our tax code and spark our economy. Today we have opened the gates to a new wave of optimism and economic prosperity -- and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Facing one of the highest tax burdens in the country, New Yorkers stand to benefit from the overhaul of a tax code that hasn’t been reformed in thirty-one years.

“This bill will provide much needed relief - particularly for working families. By keeping more of their own money, people will be able to invest more in their families, instead of handing it over to the government. That’s the way it should be,” Reed added.

The bill cuts tax rates on middle and working class Americans, doubles the standard deduction, doubles the child tax credit to $2000 per child- $1400 of which is refundable, and preserves the child and dependent care credit. Additionally, this legislation maintains the state and local tax deduction for income, sales, and property tax.

“This bill will also enhance our economic engine. For decades, we’ve prevented our businesses from being able to grow and compete. Tax reform will help jumpstart job creation and with a job comes pride in an honest day’s work. This is transformative for families in our region,” Reed said.




DECEMBER 19, 2017

I wanted nothing more than to vote for a tax plan that would put more money in the pockets of overburdened taxpayers and spur job creation. However, the bill that came out of the conference committee still means a tax increase for many Staten Island and Brooklyn residents. My priority always has and will continue to be the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn who sent me to Congress to represent them. Their interests come before Washington, always.

For months, I’ve been fighting tooth and nail, together with Republican Reps. Peter King, Lee Zeldin, John Faso, and Elise Stefanik to protect the state and local tax deduction. Capping this deduction – which has been a part of the U.S. tax code since 1913 – will increase taxes and harm the already-unaffordable housing market in my district. Former President Ronald Reagan didn't eliminate SALT when he had the chance in 1986 due to conservative principles, and we shouldn’t remove it now. Additionally, analyses show that New York’s share of the country’s tax burden will grow by 9 percent – the largest increase of any state in the nation. Even this small capped deduction of $10,000 will be eliminated in 8 years, and once it’s gone it probably will be eliminated forever.

We’ve taken our case to Congressional leadership, the public, and directly to the President. Sometimes that fight has been heated, but that’s our job: to look out for the families in our districts who are already living paycheck to paycheck. Our efforts resulted in some positive developments, like the protection of student loan interest and medical expense deductions, but it still falls short of accomplishing the goals that I strongly believed we could and should have achieved.

With the state and local tax deduction nearly eliminated, this tax bill doesn't equal relief for far too many New Yorkers. It is still paid for by the middle-class families of Staten Island and Brooklyn. New York is a high-tax state, and this legislation should serve as a wakeup call to politicians who have been taxing and spending with little regard for the taxpayer. But that still doesn't make it right to penalize people even more. My responsibility and allegiance is to the people who sent me here, and I will not support a tax hike on the people I represent.

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.