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Thursday
Aug102017

POLITICS (National, State): State and local tax returns, property tax deduction("SALT" deduction): Commentary (Dan Walters), "California dodges Obamacare bullet, but GOP may fire another on taxes" .... 

***State and local tax returns, property tax deduction ("SALT" deduction)....

* CALmatters (Dan Walters):  "California dodges Obamacare bullet, but GOP may fire another on taxes" - From CALmatters:

California dodged a big financial bullet when congressional Republicans deadlocked on overhauling or repealing the Affordable Care Act. The state had vigorously embraced the ACA, or Obamacare, and reduced its medically uninsured population by millions of persons, mostly via expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s program for the poor, with billions of federal dollars.

Had the ACA repeal occurred, the state would be forced to either drop those additional Medi-Cal enrollees or cough up many billions of dollars each year for their care. However, the demise of the repeal effort triggered another major drive in Congress to overhaul the federal tax system, and it, too, could have a heavy impact on California. Unlike the Obamacare repeal, though, federal tax reform would not affect the poorest Californians, but rather the most affluent.

Republican tax reformers want to eliminate the long-standing federal deduction for state and local taxes, known by the acronym of SALT, and use the extra revenues it would generate for overall reductions in tax rates. Nationally, SALT deductions total more than $500 billion a year, and they are, not surprisingly, weighted heavily toward states with the highest levels of state and local taxes, particularly income and property taxes, such as California.

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Clearly, one unspoken political motive behind the drive to end SALT deductions is punishing blue states, such as California, which have high state and local tax burdens. Beyond the impact on individual taxpayers, however, eliminating SALT could also affect state government revenues. It would .................