President Trump, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to talk taxes Tuesday
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks with reporters in Albany on Mon., Feb. 11, 2019. He will travel to meet with President Trump to talk taxes on Tuesday. Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau
ALBANY – President Donald Trump is set to meet Tuesday with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Washington, where the Democratic governor will make his case to repeal a measure capping state and local tax deductions.
Cuomo on Monday revealed he would head to the White House the next day for a 2 p.m. meeting, which comes after the Republican president signaled he may be open to considering changes to the provision, known as the SALT cap.
The governor has railed against the cap, calling it an unfair attack on Democratic states, which tend to be more highly taxed and are disproportionately affected by the measure.
He's blamed a $2.3 billion state income-tax revenue shortfall on the measure, though others have pointed to Wall Street volatility.
"I requested the meeting," Cuomo told reporters Monday. "The president has spoken about SALT over the past few days. It’s come up in interviews. But to me, there is no more vital long-term issue for the state from a financial point of view than SALT."
$10,000 SALT cap
The SALT cap allows taxpayers to deduct no more than $10,000 in state and local taxes on their federal returns each year.
The measure primarily affects higher-income earners in high-tax states, such as New York.
An interview of Trump last week by regional reporters gave Cuomo some hope the president is open to revisiting the issue, which helped fund a slate of tax-reform measures approved by the GOP.
In the interview, Trump said he had discussed the issue with people who have raised concerns about the cap.
"I’d be open to talking about it," Trump said, according to a transcript. "There are some people talking to me about this. I’m open to thinking about that."
Chance for change?
Senate Republicans, who control Congress' upper chamber, have signaled they have no plans to revisit the provision.
A spokesman for Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said high-tax states should look to lower their tax burden rather than look to Washington to change the law.
"The SALT deduction is a federal subsidy for states to raise taxes on their residents without political consequence," Grassley spokesman Michael Zona said in a statement last week.
Cuomo said Monday he believes Democratic states may have a better shot at getting the SALT cap repealed now that Democrats control the U.S. House.
He's also hopeful the issue could get an airing if Congress has to take up any changes to the tax bill.
"It is vital for New York state," Cuomo said.