Open Letter to President Trump

December 15, 2017

Hon. Donald J. Trump
President, United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump:

We, as elected members of the New York State Assembly, are writing to you in order to express our unified opposition to the proposed tax legislation currently making its way through the United States Congress, specifically the provisions calling for the strict limitation and/or outright elimination of deductions on property taxes and state and local taxes (SALT) that millions of Americans rely upon each year. As a fellow New Yorker, we have no doubt that you are fully aware of the fact that the cost of living in our state has steadily increased throughout the past several decades, with many residents spending almost 50% of their total income on simply trying to put a roof over their head. As such, millions of middle and working-class citizens residing in New York have leaned heavily on sections in the current tax code --dating back to 1914-- that allow them to deduct these costs on their annual tax returns to help them save money and invest in their future.

However, it is our genuine and deeply-held fear that if the federal government were to repeal those provisions, New York State would bear a disproportionate share of the negative impacts this new legislation will have on our nation. Maintaining a strong and robust state requires fostering a hospitable economic and financial climate, and while the State Legislature has recently enacted numerous measures over past years to significantly lower taxes and control spending, the pending federal tax legislation has the potential to undue all that we have accomplished with the stroke of a pen. With the harmful economic impacts this bill will have on middle and working-class New Yorkers, it is highly likely that families and small businesses will engage in a mass exodus out of New York, putting increased pressure on Albany to raise taxes and cut existing financial incentives for the remaining residents and business establishments.

Throughout your campaign for the presidency of the United States, you promised that you would look out for and actively promote the interests of the “forgotten men and women” struggling to get by in all corners of our great nation. However, in its current form, this legislation would undoubtedly leave millions of Americans behind, encompassing an impact area stretching from California to New York. While each of us is committed to simplifying the tax code and allowing American citizens to keep more of what they earn, this is not an endeavor that can be accomplished at the expense of the financial stability of so many of our fellow countrymen and women.

We, therefore, the undersigned state legislators, respectfully voice our strong opposition to this tax legislation as it currently stands, and urge both yourself and the members of Congress to remove or significantly alter the aforementioned sections of this bill which would negatively impact millions of Americans.

Sincerely,

Assemblyman Andrew P. Raia
12th Assembly District

Assemblyman David G. McDonough
14th Assembly District

Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano
15th Assembly District

Assemblyman Edward Ra
19th Assembly District

Assemblyman Brian Curran
21st Assembly District

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch
122nd Assembly District

Assemblyman Joseph A. Errigo
133rd Assembly District