Rep. Maloney Tells HGAR a ‘Big Fight’ is Coming on State and Local COVID-19 Aid
John Jordan | May 2020
WHITE PLAINS—U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18) in a more than 50-minute online session hosted by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors recently offered his views on the COVID-19 crisis’ impacts on the real estate industry and how the federal government going forward will be assisting businesses in New York State affected by the pandemic.
The HGAR webinar was held on Friday, May 1 and was hosted by HGAR President Gail Fattizzi; HGAR Legislative Committee Chair Leah Caro; Katheryn DeClerck, Congressman Maloney’s Federal Political Coordinator; and HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty.
Congressman Maloney noted that thus far there has been approximately $3 trillion in COVID-19 funding assistance that has been approved by Congress that has been geared to helping business and those unemployed during the ongoing health care crisis.
“I think for the most part we’ve got the right strategy, at least on the economic crisis, it was bipartisan, which is good. I think we’ve got a big fight coming on state and local aid and everybody from our part of the world should care about that a lot,” Rep. Maloney said.
The Congressman said he is hopeful that sometime in the future Congress will re-establish the state and local tax (SALT) deductions, which he noted would help the real estate industry in the Hudson Valley and also serve a means to reinvigorate the economy.
In terms of the SALT deductions, the Congressman said, “I think we are going to win that fight by the way. Sooner or later we are going to win that fight and we deserve to.” He said the victory could come as part of another COVID-related aid package later this year or perhaps after the Presidential election in November.
Rep. Maloney believes the real estate industry will weather the COVID-19 crisis pretty well and noted that the Hudson Valley will likely benefit from those living and working in urban areas seeking to relocate to a more suburban environment.
“I do believe you will see a lot of people appreciate the value of having a property outside of the city and maybe commuting instead of living down there,” he said. “And so, for the Hudson Valley, folks there is every reason to believe that your industry can be strong and recover quickly.”
In terms of the current state of the nation’s response to COVID-19 pandemic and his view on the months ahead, he noted, “I think we have a lot of serious work to do to fully win the fight against this virus,” Congressman Maloney said. “But, I do think that we will never be in the position we were in over the last six weeks where the country found itself on its back foot, overwhelmed by this crisis…”
He noted that the nation and New York State particularly, have made great strides and are now poised to implement mitigation measures on testing, contract tracing and therapies and is now on a path to an expedited path to the development of a vaccine.
The Congressman later said that with those mitigation measures now in the works, along with safe social distancing and PPEs, such as masks likely still being required this fall, the nation should be prepared for a possible second wave of the virus in the fall.
“I think the worst is actually behind us,” Rep. Maloney said. He noted that while the nation will have paid a terrible price, the enormous amount of stimulus funding could lead to a much stronger economy by this time next year.
Congressman Maloney, who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, predicted that the House will move a major $1-trillion infrastructure bill in the next six to eight weeks.
The key will be if the proposal can be agreed upon by the House and Senate and later signed into law by President Trump. The bill will be far-reaching and will include investment in ports, mass transit, roads and bridges, he said.
The House T&I Committee will likely mark up the $1-trillion infrastructure bill in the next several months, but he noted that he does not expect it to be included in the next federal COVID-19 stimulus package.
“Infrastructure is coming and it should come as the next major bipartisan step once we get through this short-term fight on state and local (assistance),” Rep. Maloney predicted.