by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Conservatives have long argued that taxes matter. Sure, they matter, progressives have countered — if all you care about is making the rich richer and doing nothing to help working people.
Witness an incredible turn of events:
We now hear the proudly progressive governors of California and New York howling in outrage at the removal of a substantial tax break for those at the highest levels of income — the top 10 percent and, especially, the top 1 percent.
Under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which went into effect on January 1, taxpayers may no longer count all of their state and local income-tax payments, plus property taxes, as deductible expenses on their federal returns. The new law caps the deductibility of these state and local taxes (the so-called SALT deduction) at $10,000 per taxpayer. …
… So the top 1 percent of filers in California are about to lose a huge tax break. No longer will they be able to reap one dollar in federal tax savings for every three or four dollars going to the state government. No wonder the governors of the two states are worried. At 13.3 percent, California has the highest marginal income-tax rate of all the states. New York State’s top rate is 8.82 percent, and that jumps to 12.7 percent in New York City. Each state garners nearly 50 percent of its total income-tax revenues from the top 1 percent of earners.