Schleifer Unveils Progressive Tax Policy To Boost Rockland And Westchester Economy

If Elected to Congress, Schleifer Will End SALT Cap and Repeal Trump Tax Cuts

Schleifer: “Trump’s cap on the SALT deduction punished residents in Rockland and Westchester.”

White Plains, NY – Adam P. Schleifer, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District, has unveiled a tax plan to restore fairness and relief from the unfair and fiscally irresponsible Trump-era tax cuts that have undermined the economy in Rockland and Westchester Counties. If elected to Congress, Schleifer will introduce legislation to support homeowners by removing the cap on state and local tax (“SALT”) deductions; undo Trump’s unfair and unsustainable rate cuts for the wealthiest earners; and revise capital gains tax treatment so that those earning the most pay higher, not lower, rates than the middle class.

“Trump’s cap on the SALT deduction punished residents in Rockland and Westchester, along with other residents of blue states, in an unfair and cynically political way,” Schleifer says. “At the same time, Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthiest earners have proven unfair and fiscally-unsustainable. I will fight to repeal his tax cuts, restore marginal rates on the very highest earners, and ensure our tax code is truly progressive by introducing an additional marginal tax rate above $2 million in earnings and limiting preferential capital gains treatment.”

Schleifer plans to undo the entirety of President Trump’s tax plan. Schleifer notes that the Trump tax cuts hurt the economy. Corporate tax revenues declined 31 percent in the first year after the law went into effect. Overall tax revenues have declined as a share of the economy in each of the two years since the tax cut took effect. The tax cuts have not paid for themselves through economic growth, as the Trump Administration claimed would happen. The economy only grew 2.9 percent the year after the law went into effect, which was the same growth the economy experienced in 2015, prior to the 2017 tax cut. The United States’ federal budget deficit increased to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, up 17 percent from the year before.

Schleifer will continue Congresswoman Lowey’s fight to repeal the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions. The cap on SALT deductions disproportionately harms New Yorkers broadly, and people in the district particularly. Before the cap was put in effect, fewer than 20 percent of households making under $50,000 claimed the deduction, but more than 90 percent of households making $200,000 or more claimed it. Because Westchester and Rockland residents pay relatively high taxes, nearly 50 percent of voters in NY 17 claimed the deduction in 2016, ranking as the 16th-highest district in terms of the percentage of filers who claimed a SALT deduction. The SALT repeal has increased the tax burden paid by the average New Yorker by over $2,500 per year.

Schleifer will raise marginal tax rates for the highest earners to prior rates. The Trump tax plan has largely benefited the wealthiest Americans at everyone else’s expense. As a result of the legislation, more than 60 percent of the tax savings went to people in the top 20 percent of the income bracket. Schleifer’s plan would repeal the Trump tax breaks that unfairly benefit the wealthiest of Americans, restore tax rates to their prior levels, and create two new tax brackets for high-income earners. These brackets would include a 40 percent marginal tax rate on those making over $1 million in a year and a 42 percent marginal rate on Americans making over $2 million in a year. Schleifer notes that Americans do not feel that they have benefited from Trump tax cuts generally. A recent poll found only about 40 percent of Americans approved of the cut while 49 percent disapproved. Unsurprisingly, the Economic Policy Institute estimated that the bill increased the average worker’s wages by only about 2 cents per hour.

Schleifer will repeal the Trump corporate tax rates. The Trump tax cuts dramatically lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, caving in to corporate lobbyists who found a big business ally in the president. However, despite the president and congressional Republicans’ promise that such cuts would lead to greater business investment and higher taxable revenues, the Wall Street Journal suggests that companies have not widely passed their tax savings to their employees. One poll of 1,500 companies found that only 4 percent used their tax savings to hire more employees or increase salaries. An analysis of 145 publicly-traded companies showed only 6 percent of tax savings were going to workers, while 56 percent went to shareholders.

Schleifer will eliminate preferential capital gains tax treatment for individuals earning above $1 million in capital gains earnings in a given year. Though any American who sells a capital asset is subject to the capital gains tax, the wealthiest households are the most subject. In 2016, individuals in the top 1 percent received about 22 percent of their income from capital gains compared to less than 1 percent of income for individuals in the bottom 80th percentile. Cuts to and preferential treatment for the capital gains tax rate benefit these wealthier individuals the most. The Trump Administration has suggested that it may push to peg the capital gains tax rate to inflation, and Trump has claimed that he could do so unilaterally with a letter from the Attorney General. The majority of the benefits from indexing capital gains would go to the top 1 percent of earners.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer is running for Congress to serve the people of New York 17th District encompassing Rockland County and northern & central Westchester County. Adam, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

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