11 out of 12 NJ congressmen oppose GOP tax bill

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EDISON -

A majority of New Jersey’s representatives in Congress voted against the GOP-sponsored federal tax reform bill that was passed last month.

Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Republican Rep. Leonard Lance launched a last-ditch effort this week to try to save the deduction for state and local taxes that many New Jersey residents rely on as the Senate and House work out the final version of the bill.

Currently New Jersey gets 61 cents in return for every dollar state taxpayers send to Washington, according to the Tax Foundation. The 39 cents that New Jersey does not get back adds up to about $48 billion, according to a study.

There are some states that received more money than they contributed. Gottheimer refers to these states as “Moocher states.” These states are now saying that New Jersey taxpayers are not paying their fair share. 

The tax reform bill cuts or eliminates New Jersey state and local tax deductions. The National Association of Realtors predicts home values in New Jersey could drop as much as 20 percent. The organization also predicts many homes will go into foreclosure.

Supporters of the tax plan say that states like New Jersey with high local taxes shouldn't get a break because they are loose spenders. "Is it fair that other states subsidize states that have high state taxes?" House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy asked.

But states like Kentucky, the most federal tax-dependent state in the country according to a 2017 study by Wallet Hub, gets $1.50 compared to New Jersey’s 61 cents from federal tax money. Kentucky happens to be the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who shepherded the bill through Congress.

McConnell did say Wednesday that he was open to expanding the deduction for state and local taxes. The Senate and House reform bill does cap those deductions at $10,000.

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