State Tax-Break Group Targets 20 GOP Lawmakers

OMB Director Mulvaney on Health Bill, Taxes and Yellen

Advocates for preserving a federal income-tax deduction for state and local levies released data aimed at showing how people in ZIP codes across the country would fare if the break is repealed, as President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have proposed.

“This new data makes it crystal clear that many middle-class homeowners throughout the country will see their tax bills increase, often by thousands of dollars,” if the deduction is eliminated, said Bob Chlopak, co-director of the Americans Against Double Taxation Coalition, in an article on the group’s website. “We are going to have a fierce political battle here,” he told reporters Monday.

In posting the “calculator” to its website Tuesday, the coalition also released an analysis of ZIP codes in the top 20 Republican-held House districts that use the deduction most. Offices for Representatives Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Peter King of New York, Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey and Pete Roskam of Illinois were among the top 20.

The tax break tends to benefit high-income filers in high-tax states -- and GOP leaders have attacked it as a federal subsidy for spendthrift state and local governments. Those states tend to vote Democratic, but dozens of GOP House members would also see their constituents affected, and they’re seeking ways to minimize the impact.

More than 49 percent of filers in the same ZIP code as Comstock’s district office claim the deduction, according to the analysis, while a family of four with an average household income and a home near Frelinghuysen’s office would see a tax increase of $4,409, it said.

The analysis, which was developed by the Government Finance Officers Association using IRS data from 2015, makes assumptions about the standard deduction and child tax credit based on Trump’s tax plan, as well as assumptions about thresholds for tax brackets that have not been decided.

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