NJ Democrats continue battle with Trump administration on tax deduction reform

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SADDLE BROOK -

New Jersey’s representatives in Congress introduced another piece of legislation meant to combat President Donald Trump’s tax reform, which they say negatively impacts New Jersey.

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and House Democrats are teaming with New Jersey’s sole Republican Rep. Chris Smith to try to restore the state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

“We have some of the highest property taxes in the nation and they chose to squeeze us even more,’ says Rep. Bill Pascrell.

The congressmen were in Saddle Brook Tuesday to introduce the bipartisan legation.

RELATED: State reps. launch fight to reinstate tax deductions taken away by Trump admin. 
RELATED: IRS pushes back against Murphy’s federal tax ‘workaround’ 

“President Trump and the Republican Congress actually made New Jersey's property tax burden worse. And beyond the hurt that many families are feeling, gutting the state and local tax deduction just defies common sense. Why should any taxpayer have to pay taxes on their taxes?” Sen. Menendez asked.

Previously, Americans who itemized their deductions could deduct what they paid in property taxes and state income taxes from what they paid the federal government. But the tax cut signed by President Trump in 2017 caps SALT deductions at $10,000.

Some of New Jersey’s local leaders say that this cap will hurt their constituents greatly and could also impact projects on the local level.

“A lot of my constituents feel like they're being taxed to death and with this double taxation, it doesn't make matters any better for them,” says Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.

“It affects us because when we want to do things - we want to increase services or do a project in town that costs money - we have to go to the taxpayers and explain why. And they resent it sometimes because they feel they're already burdened with a lot of taxes,” says Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White.

President Trump in an interview last week said he would be open to altering the deduction cap.

But Republican Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley said the answer to the problem is for states to lower their taxes so that their residents wouldn’t be as burdened.

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