LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Don’t Panic, Take Action on Tax Reform

Philip Weiden | May 4, 2017

Phil Weiden, HGAR
Government Affairs Director

Tax reform has been proposed. Do not panic yet. Why do I say that? Because even though the Trump Administration has laid out the tax reform proposal, Congress has not weighed in as yet.

In order for long-term tax reform to work where deductions are eliminated or modified, the Senate needs 60 votes. Right now they are having issues getting to 51 votes on this particular legislation. The positive: if this were to pass with just 51 votes the legislation can be rolled back and would expire after a certain number of years.

Now is the time to make your voice heard and let your Senators and Congressional representatives know that you are against eliminating the property tax deduction for state and local property taxes. Most of our elected officials in New York, on both sides of the aisle, are on our side on this issue. What can you do? It is simple. Contribute to RPAC and support pro-Realtor candidates at all levels of government.

The other bad tax reform proposal is to increase the standard deduction. This would result in people choosing not to itemize, thus damaging the incentives to purchase a home. We also must fight this proposal. Again let your representatives know how dangerous this would be. This portion of the president’s reform proposal is harder for people to understand as it has a greater impact on high tax states such as New York.

Finally, there very well may be a call for action on this. Respond to it and send it out to every Realtor you know and tell them to respond to it as well. If we do this across the country we can stop these negative changes from becoming policy. I do not recommend calling Senators or members of Congress in other states; they do not care if you are not a voter in their state or district. Stay tuned for further updates.


Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.