Rep. Cisneros’ Bipartisan Bill to Restore SALT Deduction and Tax Fairness in CA-39 Passes Committee

December 11, 2019
Press Release
The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act advanced through the House Committee on Ways and Means

WASHINGTON, DC –  Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) introduced bipartisan legislation to provide immediate tax relief to 39th District residents and lift the cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction, or SALT. The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act would eliminate the marriage penalty by doubling the cap to $20,000 for joint filers for 2019 and would fully restore the SALT deduction for 2020 and 2021. Additionally, the measure as approved by the Committee would increase the tax deduction available for teachers and first responders. The cost of this plan would be fully offset by returning the top individual tax rate from 37 percent, back to 39.6 percent, prior to the GOP tax bill of 2017. The legislation passed the House Committee on Ways and Means by a vote of 24 to 17.

“The cap on the SALT deduction has unfairly punished my constituents and I have heard from too many families in the 39th District who are struggling after being hit with a larger tax bill,” said Rep. Cisneros. “Capping the deduction hurts homeowners and undermines state and local efforts to invest in our roads, schools, teachers, and first responders. I’m proud to join Representative Suozzi and our SALT working group in this bipartisan legislation that will take steps to lower taxes for working families. We need to ensure middle-class taxpayers are not unfairly punished again when they file their taxes next year.”

In the 39th District, 350,480 constituents filed tax returns in 2016. Of those returns, 139,630 filed for a SALT return, about 40 percent, for an average SALT deduction of $16,882. Also in 2016, there were 2.3 million joint returns filed by Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino county residents. In all three counties, 18% of taxpayers claimed the SALT deduction, for a total deduction worth $3.2 billion.

Rep. Cisneros is a member of a SALT working group that was formed earlier this year and was chaired by Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman, Mike Thompson (D-CA-05). This week he spoke on the House floor urging his colleagues to act to lift the cap on SALT. He co-introduced the bipartisan H.R. 1591, the Salt Relief and Marriage Penalty Elimination Act, to make the SALT deduction equal to the standard deduction taken by taxpayers, encouraging homeownership and charitable giving. Rep. Cisneros also previously urged the House Ways and Means Committee to eliminate the $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction.