Local Politicos Criticize Plan, Congress on Tax Reform

John Jordan | December 2017

WHITE PLAINS—In addition to Rockland County Executive Ed Day who recently told Real Estate In-Depth that New York State taxpayers were getting “sandbagged” by the federal tax reform plan, other key state and local leaders also blasted various components of the GOP House and Senate tax reform plans that at press time are being debated under the conciliation process.

Because of the potential tremendous impact tax reform could have on the Hudson Valley’s real estate market, Real Estate In-Depth felt it was important to inform the readership to the positions of local elected officials and to have their positions on record.

The following are statements issued by Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer (Democrat), Orange County Executive Steve M. Neuhaus (Republican), Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell (Republican), as well as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Democrat) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Democrat) on the tax reform plans that eliminate or curtail key tax deductions that are beneficial to the residential and commercial real estate markets.

—Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer

“This potentially has the effect of stopping the growth of the residential real estate market. This has the potential of stopping new construction in the residential real estate market because tax deductibility is a very important element in how people decide where they are going to live and how large or small a house they are going to have. So I think in a county like Westchester County it is going to have a significant impact. This is reverse ‘Robin Hoodism.’ This is taking money from the poor and the middle class and giving it to the wealthiest and I might add the major large corporations. This bill is not good for the small businesses of the country, it is good for the big businesses of the country.—Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer speaking to the Westchester County Business Journal at an Anti-Tax Bill Rally held in White Plains

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus

“Reducing or eliminating the state and local tax deduction is a serious concern of mine. This will have a major impact on families. It is very sad though that the Democrats in both the House and Senate have refused to engage in serious negotiations. I’ve heard nothing from them but that they want more time, but I have not seen any concrete plan. They have an obligation to put forward a real plan, not just to say ‘no.’ The Republicans then have an obligation to sit at the table and consider that plan. People need to work together on these issues. The partisan bickering in Washington is very dangerous for our country’s long term survival.”—Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell

“The elimination of the SALT deduction is a hard hitter. I think we all recognize that there has to be reform to the federal tax code. There is no arguing that point. But, what we are concerned about, particularly as New Yorkers, is what will that impact have on individuals and families that can see a rise in their taxes. For everyone, there is very little wiggle room these days. While the economy is experiencing a nice bounce, it’s going to hurt individuals and families. As it has been noted, there are different versions and variations of the proposals (by the House and Senate). Looking at Putnam County and our property taxes, to cap the deduction for local property taxes at $10,000 is going to hurt quite a bit and statewide it is going to hurt quite a bit. There is also a big concern about second homeownership. What is the incentive now, what is the financial impact going to be for individuals to invest in a second home whether it is for an investment or for a vacation home? And that drives quite a bit of our real estate market.”—Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“First of all, it was a fraud, it is a fraud on the American people. They talked about a tax cut for the middle class and the working men and women of this nation and what they’ve given us so far is a tax cut for the rich, period. Fifty percent of the benefit goes to the top one percent and that’s an inarguable fact, and their theory is not new or novel, it’s trickle-down on steroids. You help the rich in this nation, a corporate tax break, and then the corporation will take those funds and raise wages for workers or create more jobs. Yeah, or the corporation is going to put it in their pocket and the rich person is going to buy another house or they’ll do another round of dividends, which is a more likely scenario in my opinion. To add insult to injury, the tax cut is then targeted at 12 states that happen to be so-called ‘blue states’ where they target eliminating the state and local deduction. I don’t think people understand what this will do yet, but it will be devastating for the states that are effected.”—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

“Republicans, voting on a bill they didn’t even have time to read, once again proved they care more about millionaires and campaign donors than working families. They voted for a tax increase for 87 million households. They voted for a $25 billion cut to Medicaid. They voted to kick 13 million people off their health insurance. They voted to give wealthy companies a tax break at the expense of cities’ police officers, firefighters and teachers. Thankfully, the fight isn’t over. We can win this, but only if we all get involved. We must make the voices of hard working Americans from around the country heard in Washington, D.C. It’s time to remind our legislators that they work for us, not their campaign donors.”—New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

 

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth