Vukmir supports eliminating tax deductions
U.S. Senate candidate signs open letter to stop local, state write-offs
When it comes to tax reform, Republican U.S. Senate candidates Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson usually stick with the basics.
They both back Republican-led efforts to overhaul the tax code, but generally avoid getting into the deep details of legislation that is still being hashed out in Congress.
But there is one important facet of tax policy that Vukmir, a state senator from Brookfield, has taken a strong stand on.
She supports ending the state and local tax deduction, known as SALT.
Vukmir took that stance as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate-backed group that brings together conservative lawmakers from across the country.
Vukmir, a member of the group’s board of directors, was one among 140 lawmakers from 36 states to sign on to ALEC’s open letter to Congress calling for an elimination of the SALT deduction.
The letter, sent last month, said: “Eliminating the state and local tax (SALT) deduction would provide upwards of $1.5 trillion over the next decade to implement broad-based tax cuts nationally.”
The letter said, “Thanks to SALT, income earners and businesses in lower-taxed states pay a higher effective federal income tax rate than their high-taxed counterparts since they deduct less from their taxable income. In effect, citizens in more fiscally responsible regions subsidize the malfeasance of politicians thousands of miles away.”
Bills in the House and Senate differ on the issue. In a bid to lure votes from GOP members from high tax states like New York, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the House bill would allow a deduction for up to $10,000 on local property taxes. The House bill ends deductions for state income taxes.
The Senate bill eliminates SALT. Vukmir “has not changed her opinion on eliminating the state and local tax deduction,” said campaign spokesman Mattias Gugel.
“Senator Vukmir is closely following tax reform move through both houses of Congress. She’s glad to see Congressional Republicans and President Trump working together to streamline our tax code, provide much-needed relief for our middle class and boost the economy,” Gugel said.
Both the House and Senate bills call for cutting the corporate tax rate to 20%, The House bill would cut the corporate rate next year while the Senate bill delays implementation to 2019.
“While she knows there will be changes over the next several days, the senator is disappointed that the Senate plan delays when the corporate tax cuts go into effect,” Gugel said. “To remain competitive in a worldwide market, she believes America must lower our corporate tax rate as soon as possible to spur the economy and ensure jobs don’t move overseas.”
For his part, Nicholson, a Delafield businessman, is supportive of the tax overhaul.
“Kevin supports President Trump’s call for bold tax reform and welcomes the introduction of tax reform in the House and Senate as the first steps in overhauling our overly complicated and uncompetitive tax system,” said Nicholson spokesman, Michael Antonopoulos.
“As tax reform moves forward, Kevin wants to make sure the final package provides tax relief for every Wisconsin taxpayer and business,” he said. “He believes tax reform absolutely must be done this year because the tax code is in desperate need of an overhaul that spurs growth.”
Nicholson and Vukmir are the only announced Republicans running in the Aug., 2018 primary. They’re bidding to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
Last month, Baldwin issued a call to retain the state and local tax deduction.
She said one-third of Wisconsin taxpayers currently claim the deduction and said its repeal “could lead to a tax increase for more than 30% of the taxpayers in my state. Across Wisconsin, the deduction loss would total about $10 billion that Wisconsinites would no longer be able to deduct from their federal taxes.”
Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir