Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on July 28 raked some of his fellow Democrats over the coals for not following through on their pledges to repeal SALT, the cap on deductibility of state and local taxes from federal tax returns that was instituted under the Trump administration.
During a virtual event arranged by the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), Cuomo said that SALT has cost New Yorkers an estimated $35 billion since the tax law was changed to put a $10,000 limit on the amount of state and local taxes that could be deducted on federal tax returns.
In the past six months alone, he said, it has cost New Yorkers $6.15 billion. He made it clear that he still believes SALT was created by Republicans in an effort to hurt states controlled by Democrats.
Cuomo took the position that every Democratic official and many Republican officials have promised a repeal and now is the time to act.
“The stars are aligned for us. It is now or never,” Cuomo said, emphasizing that Democrats control the White House along with the Senate and House of Representatives.
As Cuomo was speaking on-screen during the ABNY event, graphics showing some of New York’s representatives in Washington were shown along with comments they had made decrying the imposition of SALT.
Among those called on the carpet by Cuomo for not following through on pledges to repeal SALT were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.
“Everyone promised, promised, when Trump did this, it was an outrage and they would repeal it and they would repeal it immediately,” Cuomo said. “Do something about it. It’s your job.”
Among Democrats, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Queens has come out against repealing SALT, as has Senator Bernie Sanders who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. Both have expressed concerns that the wealthy would unduly benefit from a repeal of SALT.
Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders and Schumer have not responded to requests for comment about SALT from the Business Journal, some made several days before Cuomo’s remarks to ABNY.
Cuomo also announced that New York will mandate Covid-19 vaccinations or weekly Covid testing for state employees. Vaccinations also will be mandated for health care workers who deal with patients at state hospitals, without the option for weekly testing as an alternative to vaccination. Cuomo said the mandates would have to be complied with by Labor Day.
“I encourage all local governments to do the same,” Cuomo said. “It’s smart, it’s fair, it’s in everyone’s interest.”
Cuomo said the state needs the help of businesses to tamp down the growing surge in Covid cases due in large measure to the Delta variant.
“You can admit vaccinated-only people into your establishment,” Cuomo said. “I can argue that it is a smart business practice because I want to go to a safe restaurant and I want to go to a safe theater and I want to go to a safe bar. And, I think it’s good business for the private sector. I also think it provides a real incentive for people to get the vaccine.”
Cuomo said that on Wednesday there were 2,203 new daily Covid cases reported in the state, almost 10 times the number of new daily cases that were being reported a month ago.
Please, Please repeal the Salt act. It has caused hardship on the working middle class. Do your job and remember your promise. Just to note we are not Wealthy. Very disappointed in those who have done nothing and or voted against it.
PS I am a New York Democrat.