By midnight Monday, more than 9 million New Yorkers will have filed their income tax returns for 2018. And most will then have cause to wonder what the Great New York SALT Panic of 2018 was all about.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo portrayed President Trump’s tax reform and its $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions as a disaster for the Empire State — “an all-out direct attack on New York’s future” that would effectively raise state and local taxes on middle-class families by 25 percent, as Cuomo predicted in January 2018.
In the months that followed, the governor would frequently repeat the 25 percent tax-hike warning, often adding the claim that residents of downstate suburbs would face an average tax hike of $6,400.
All of this was grossly misleading, to say the least, as New Yorkers are now realizing. In fact, despite the SALT cap, the vast majority paid lower taxes for 2018 than they would have under the previous federal law.
E.J. McMahon is research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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