Rep. Lowey, HGAR Condemn Devastating Impact of GOP Tax Plan

John Jordan | November 2017

From left, HGAR CEO Richard Haggerty, HGAR President Dorothy Botsoe, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey and HGAR President-elect Barry Kramer.

WHITE PLAINS—U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors held a joint press conference at the HGAR headquarters in White Plains on Nov. 13 to highlight the devastating impacts the U.S. House and Senate tax reform plans would have on middle class taxpayers in the Hudson Valley.

“The numbers are in, and we know that what the Republicans promised would be a middle-class tax cut is actually a tax scam that would raise taxes on millions of middle-class Americans,” said Congresswoman Lowey. She added that the last reform of the U.S. tax code passed in 1986 was the subject of two years of study, debate and hearings. The current House and Senate GOP tax reform proposals were released separately earlier this month. President Donald Trump hopes to be able to sign tax reform legislation into law by Christmas.

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey said the Republican’s promised tax cut is actually a “tax scam that would raise taxes on millions of middle-class Americans.”

“This should be a bi-partisan bill, not a partisan bill,” she said. “As the House prepares to vote on the Republican tax bill this week, I have a message for my colleagues: ‘A vote for this tax scam is a vote to increase taxes on middle-class New York families.’”

Chief officials of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors also detailed the devastating impacts that both House and Senate versions would have on home values and the Hudson Valley economy. In addition to setting limits on the mortgage interest deduction, other components of the GOP plan would either limit or eliminate state and local property tax deductions, state and local tax deductions, student loan deductions and health care deductions.

“The tax reform proposal currently in the House and Senate would decrease home values, increase property and income taxes and put home ownership out of reach for many Americans in New York and the rest of the country,” said Dorothy Botsoe, president of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. “If these tax proposals are enacted people would not itemize on their taxes and not take advantage of the deductions that home ownership offers. This plan would also blow a hole in state and local budgets and force a fiscal crisis on the State of New York. We urge New Yorkers to oppose this.”

HGAR President-elect Barry Kramer focused on the damage the tax reform proposals would have on the cooperative housing market in Westchester County.

In New York, 35% of taxpayers deduct an average of more than $22,000 every year. In New York’s 17th Congressional District, 45% take an average state and local tax deduction of more than $26,000. Eliminating the deduction would increase New York taxpayers’ liability by an estimated $17.5 billion. The House Republican bill would allow only deduction of up to $10,000 in local property taxes, while the Senate version of the bill would outright eliminate the full deduction.

Rep. Lowey and HGAR officials were joined by local homeowners, school officials, as well as elderly extended care facility residents who all would face rising costs due to the GOP tax plan.

Frank Schnecker, Ossining Board of Education member and vice president of the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association, said the association is concerned about the impact this will have on area taxpayers and school districts, and on the ability of our school districts to raise revenue needed to support its programs, particularly given its reliance on local property tax. “Under the proposed reduction in deductibility, there will be undue pressure to cut school district expenditures, and this will ultimately starve our schools of needed resources,” he said.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth