Monday, December 17, 2012
Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts),
Why the SALT Deduction Is Always Under Attack, 137 Tax Notes 1267 (Dec. 17, 2012):
Martin A. Sullivan argues that policymakers shouldn't be so quick to curtail or eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes.
[T]he history of
the 1986 act can still teach us about the next tax
reform effort. Among the most relevant lessons is that among the big three itemized deductions—the
mortgage interest deduction, the deductions for
charitable contributions, and the deduction for state
and local taxes — the last is by far the one Congress
is most likely to cut. As shown in Figure 1, the
deduction cost the government $62 billion in 2010,
and a lot of that revenue is from upper-income
households. That is an attractive pile of cash, especially
if the mortgage interest and charitable deductions
are off the table.
Figure 1. Distribution of Tax Benefits From the Deduction for State and Local Taxes in 2010
(from a total of $62.4 billion)
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