Mayor Bowser & National Partners Host Press Conference on Federal Tax Reform, 11/13/17


>>I WANT TO WELCOME ALL OF YOU,
BUT PARTICULARLY MAYOR BOWSER AND OUR ALLIES FROM THE CITIES
AND COUNTIES OF THE UNITED STATES. AND I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT WE
ARE STILL IN TIME TO GET A TAX PRODUCT THAT WILL BE FAIR AND
WILL BE PRODUCTIVE FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES BECAUSE THIS BILL
HAS TO GO TO CONFERENCE. THE HOUSE BILL IS ALWAYS THE
WORST BILL. [LAUGHTER]
AND IT’S INTERESTING, MAYOR BOWSER, IN ORDER TO DO THINGS
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO KEEP MEAN THINGS FROM HAPPENING,
I’VE GOT TO GO TO WHERE WE DON’T HAVE A VOTE — THE SENATE VERY
OFTEN. SO I’M NOT PARTICULARLY
CONCERNED. THIS IS THE FIRST DRAFT. BUT WE NEED TO PAY VERY SPECIAL
ATTENTION BECAUSE WHAT THE HOUSE GIVES IN THE SHORT-TERM WILL BE
LOST IN THE END OF THE 10-YEAR TIME FRAME AND TAXES FOR CITIES,
FOR RESIDENTS OF CITIES AND COUNTIES WILL GO UP. NOW, MAYOR BOWSER, D.C.
TAXPAYERS ARE THE BIGGEST LOSERS. AND IF ANY OF YOU LIVE WHERE THE
COST OF HOUSING IS STEEP, YOU TOO ARE BIG LOSERS. BUT WE LEAD THE PACK BECAUSE 40%
OF D.C. RESIDENTS TAXPAYERS TAKE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION. 35% OF ALL D.C. MORTGAGES ARE
MORE THAN 500,000, SO THAT REDUCTION FROM 1 MILLION TO
500,000 HITS US AND MAKES US NUMBER ONE IN THE NATION. NOT BECAUSE WE ARE RICH, BUT
BECAUSE PEOPLE’S WEALTH IS ALL IN THEIR HOMES AND IN THEIR
PROPERTY. AND THEY PAY TAXES ON IT TO
MATCH. THE REPUBLICAN PLAN LEAVES D.C.
RESIDENTS WITH THE HIGHEST TAX INCREASE IN THE NATION. THAT’S WHY WE ARE GOING TO STOP
IT. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BEAR
IN MIND. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT STATES WITH
LOWER STATE AND LOCAL TAXES IN MANY OF OUR CITIES AND COUNTIES
FUND THE SALT TAX DEDUCTION — DEDUCTION IN THE TAX CODE. THE BALANCE HAS BEEN STRUCK IN
THE TAX CODE BECAUSE STATES WITH HIGH STATE AND LOCAL TAXES TEND
TO PAY THE HIGHEST FEDERAL TAXES AND ACT AS DONOR STATES TO
STATES WITH LOW STATE AND LOCAL TAXES. WE HAVE MORE THAN PAID OUR
SHARE. THE HOUSE BILL HURTS HALF OF THE
MIDDLE CLASS IN THE COUNTRY BECAUSE HALF OF THEM WILL PAY
MORE. AND THE SENATE BILL 1/3 OF
TAXPAYERS WILL PAY MORE. EVEN MORE OMINOUS FOR STATES AND
COUNTIES IS THE REGRESSIVE FINANCING OF THE TAX PROPOSAL
WHICH WILL FORCE TAX INCREASES AT THE LOCAL LEVELS WHERE TAXES
ARE NECESSARILY LESS PROGRESSIVE THAN THE TAX CODE. NOW, THERE WILL BE DIRECT
NEAR-TERM BENEFITS. THAT IS TO SAY CUTS. THIS IS US AND THIS IS THE
TRICK. YOU NOTICE THAT FOR ONE YEAR THE
TAXES GO DOWN. BUT PLEASE LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS
DURING THE 10 YEARS THAT WE USE IN THE CONGRESS TO DECIDE HOW TO
MEASURE TAXES. THERE WE GO. A LITTLE BIT OF BENEFIT FOR A
COUPLE OF YEARS. AND THERE WE GO ON THAT BLUE
LINE ALL THE WAY TO THE VERY TOP WITH THE FEWEST TAX CUTS AND THE
MOST TAX CUTS BEING NECESSARY. SO WE WILL NOT BE FOOLED OVER
THAT 10-YEAR PERIOD. THE REGRESSIVE FINANCING AND
SAFETY NET WILL HIT — AND OUR SAFETY NET WILL ALSO HIT US WITH
MEDICARE AND MEDICAID CUTS. SO I’M WORKING HARD ALSO I’M
GOING TO SAY TO PRESERVE OUR PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS. AND YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR IN
GREATER DETAIL ABOUT SOME OF THESE ISSUES I HAVE RAISED. PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS BECAUSE
AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS SO SCARCE IN OUR CITIES AND COUNTIES. AND FOR ME, IT IS PERSONAL
BECAUSE PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS ALSO FUND THE ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT OR MUCH OF IT THAT COME FROM MY BILLS THAT ARE
DEVELOPING THE WHARF WHICH IS THE SOUTHWEST RIVERFRONT, THE
SOUTHEAST RIVERFRONT CALLED THE YARDS, NOMA AND WALTER REED. SO CUTTING THAT CUTS ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT. WE GET IT IN ALL WAYS. UNTIL THE DISTRICT BECOMES THE
51st STATE, WE LOSE OVER TIME THERE IS A HOUSE VOTE. BUT THAT IS, OF COURSE, BECAUSE
WE HAVE NO VOTE ON THE HOUSE FLOOR AND NO SENATORS. BUT WE LOSE MOST WHEN THERE IS A
VOTE ON TAX LEGISLATION BECAUSE THE RESIDENTS IN THIS CITY, THE
CITY WHERE WE ARE NOW, PAY THE HIGHEST TAXES PER CAPITA IN THE
UNITED STATES. THE HOUSE BILL INCREASES THE
DISTRICT’S TAX LIABILITY. IT DOES THE SAME FOR CITIES AND
COUNTIES ACROSS THE NATION. IT IS STILL TIME TO FIGHT BACK
EVEN THOUGH THIS BILL IS GOING TO THE HOUSE FLOOR PROBABLY ON
WEDNESDAY. WE ARE HERE WITH OUR ALLIES FROM
THE COUNTIES AND THE CITIES THIS MORNING TO SIGNAL THE FIGHT TO
PRESERVE TAX FAIRNESS FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES HAS BEGUN IN
EARNEST. AND THAT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE
THAT I INTRODUCE OUR OWN MAYOR, MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER TO DISCUSS
FURTHER THE D.C. IMPACTS.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU,
CONGRESSWOMAN. GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I AM HONORED TO JOIN
CONGRESSWOMAN NORTON TO TALK ABOUT THE TAX BILL MOVING IN
FRONT OF THE CONGRESS AND THE DEVASTATING IMPACTS IT CAN HAVE
ON WASHINGTON, D.C. I AM ALSO PLEASED TO BE JOINED BY —
REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES AND
ANDREW KONESCHUSKY REPRESENTING AMERICANS AGAINST DOUBLE
TAXATION. YOU HAVE ALREADY HEARD THE
CONGRESSWOMAN TALK ABOUT THE DEDUCTIONS THAT WE ARE CONCERNED
ABOUT FOR THE MANY HOMEOWNERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. WHO WILL BE
NEGATIVELY AFFECTED BY IT. BUT I WANTED TO SPEND A FEW
MOMENTS TALKING ABOUT WHAT THE CONGRESSWOMAN ALSO MENTIONED WAS
PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS. PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS ARE
SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS PABs. AND WHEN WE TALK ABOUT TAX LAW,
SOMETIMES IT GETS A LITTLE WONKY, BUT PABs HAVE VERY REAL
IMPACTS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THEY ARE A CRITICAL SOURCE OF
FINANCING FOR IMPORTANT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS INCLUDING OUR VERY
INFRASTRUCTURE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND MUCH MORE. LET ME JUST GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE
OF A FEW PROJECTS IN D.C. THAT HAVE BEEN HELPED BY PABs
INCLUDING THE CESAR CHAVEZ PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL, MUSEUMS
IN WASHINGTON SUCH AS THE SPY MUSEUM AND OUR GREAT
UNIVERSITIES INCLUDING GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. THE ELIMINATION OF PABs WOULD
PARTICULARLY — [INAUDIBLE]
INTO OUR 4% LOW INCOME TAX CREDIT TO HELP USHER IN REALLY
HISTORIC INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACROSS D.C.
SINCE 2010, PABs HAVE FUNDED MORE THAN 9,000 UNITS OF
AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN D.C. THEY HAVE ALSO BEEN USED TO
LEVERAGE MORE INVESTMENT, AN ADDITIONAL $650 MILLION IN
PRIVATE EQUITY THROUGH USE OF 4% LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDITS. THIS SYSTEM HAS HELPED DELIVER
MORE THAN $2.5 BILLION IN TOTAL DEVELOPMENT. THAT DEVELOPMENT IS AT RISK WITH
THIS BILL. SO IT’S CLEAR THAT OUR VERY
EFFECTIVE USE OF THIS TOOL HAS CONTRIBUTED TO OUR ABILITY TO
PRESERVE AND TO PRODUCE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN
WASHINGTON, D.C. AND FOR THIS REASON, WE CALL ON
EVERY HOUSE MEMBER TO VOTE NO ON THIS BILL. THE INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BOND
PROGRAM WOULD ALSO BE IMPACTED BY THE ELIMINATION OF PABs. IT WOULD VIRTUALLY MAKE IT
IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO CONTINUE THAT PROPOSAL. THE INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BOND
PROGRAM PROVIDES ACCESS TO TAX-EXEMPT FINANCING TO HELP
BUSINESSES AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS RENOVATE NEW
BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCT NEW ONES TO MAKE TENANT IMPROVEMENTS AND
TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL CAPITAL BY SECURING INTEREST RATES UP TO
4% LOWER THAN TRADITIONAL LOANS. MORE THAN $9.5 BILLION HAS BEEN
ISSUED THROUGH WASHINGTON, D.C.’S IRB PROGRAM SINCE 1994. THAT’S ALMOST $10 BILLION IN
INVESTMENT THAT WOULD BE AT RISK WITH THIS BILL. PARTICIPANTS IN THE IRB PROGRAM
IN D.C. FOR EXAMPLE, HAVE
INCLUDED THE CAPITOL HILL DAY SCHOOL, GEORGETOWN, SPY MUSEUM
AND GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY. WE ALSO UTILIZE ANOTHER TOOL
CALLED THE NEW MARKET TAX CREDIT. THE HOUSE PLAN CALLS FOR THE
ELIMINATION OF NEW MARKET TAX CREDITS WHICH HELP INCREASE THE
FLOW OF FINANCING FROM PRIVATE INVESTORS INTO D.C. PROJECTS. SOME OF THE PROJECTS INCLUDE THE
D.C. CANAL PARK, THE FAR SOUTHEAST STRENGTHENING
COLLABORATIVE HAS USED IT IN A CURRENT DEVELOPMENT THAT IT IS
PROVIDING FOR A NEW SIT-DOWN RESTAURANT ON MARTIN LUTHER KING
AVENUE IN WARD 8. NEW MARKET TAX CREDITS HAS ALSO
HELPED FINANCE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS, INCLUDING THE THURGOOD
MARSHALL ACADEMY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL. THE ELIMINATION OF THIS TAX
CREDIT MEANS LESS FUNDING FOR D.C. SCHOOLS. SORE WE CALL ON CONGRESS TO VOTE
NO TO THIS BILL. MAKE NO MISTAKE THAT THE
ELIMINATION OF STATE AND LOCAL DEDUCTIONS OR SALT DEDUCTIONS
TAKE MONEY OUT OF THE POCKETS OF D.C. RESIDENTS AND WE ALSO CALL
ON THE CONGRESS TO VOTE NO ON THIS BILL FOR THAT REASON. WE WANT THE CONGRESS TO GO BACK
TO THE DRAWING BOARD ON THIS BILL TO BE DELIBERATE, TO BE
FAIR, AND TO MAKE SURE THAT MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AREN’T
PAYING FOR TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR THE SUPER RICH AND FOR
CORPORATIONS AND ARE NOT ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR MORTGAGES,
THEIR STUDENT LOAN DEBT OR EVEN FOR TEACHERS WHO ARE BUYING
EXTRA SCHOOL SUPPLIES. AND SO IT IS VERY IMPERATIVE
THAT CITIES SPEAK UP, THAT COUNTIES SPEAK UP AND ALL THE
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DO WHAT’S FAIR FOR ALL AMERICANS. I’M HAPPY NOW TO WELCOME MY
COLLEAGUE ELISSA SILVERMAN.>>WELL, GOOD MORNING. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MAYOR
BOWSER, FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP IN PUTTING THIS BRIEFING TOGETHER. IT’S AN HONOR TO STAND WITH YOU
AND WITH CONGRESSWOMAN ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON. LONG-TIME FAN OF YOUR WORK. IT’S ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO JOIN
FORCES WITH OUR NEIGHBORS ON IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT AFFECT US
AS A REGION. I’M ALSO DELIGHTED TO STAND WITH
THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
COUNTIES AND AMERICANS AGAINST DOUBLE TAXATION. NOW, NOT ONLY DO I STAND HERE
TODAY AS THE MAYOR OF ALEXANDRIA, BUT I’M ALSO A
MEMBER OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS AND THE METROPOLITAN
WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS. BOTH OF THESE NONPARTISAN
ORGANIZATIONS HAVE STATED PUBLICLY THAT THEY ARE ASKING
CONGRESS TO PRESERVE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION. WE ARE ALL UNITED IN OUR STRONG
CONCERN ABOUT THE PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF THIS DEDUCTION
ALSO KNOWN AS SALT. NOW, FOR OVER A CENTURY, SALT OR
THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION, HAS BEEN A
FUNDAMENTAL PART OF OUR TAX CODE SINCE THE REVENUE ACT OF 1913
WHICH CREATED THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX. THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION PREVENTS DOUBLE TAXATION ON INCOME EARNED BY
HARDWORKING AMERICANS. WITHOUT THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION, AMERICANS WILL HAVE TO PAY FEDERAL TAXES ON INCOME
THAT’S ALREADY COME OUT OF THEIR POCKETS FOR STATE AND LOCAL
TAXES. THOSE OF US IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
HAVE DUBBED THIS PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE SALT AS THE ASSAULT
TAX BECAUSE IT’S AN UNACCEPTABLE ASSAULT ON OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
AND THE RESIDENTS WHO LIVE IN OUR COMMUNITIES. THREE OF THE CONGRESSIONAL
DISTRICTS IN OUR IMMEDIATE AREA, ONE IN MARYLAND AND TWO IN
NORTHERN VIRGINIA, HAVE THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTS
WHO CLAIM THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION OF ANYWHERE ELSE
IN THE UNITED STATES. APPROXIMATELY 40% OF OUR
REGION’S TAXPAYERS USE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION WHEN
FILING THEIR FEDERAL TAXES. ELIMINATION OF THIS DEDUCTION
WILL RESULT IN TAX INCREASES THAT VARY FROM $1,000 TO MANY
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR OUR TAXPAYERS. IRONICALLY, CORPORATIONS WILL
NOT LOSE THEIR STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION, SO THIS FLAWED
PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION WOULD
MEAN DOUBLE TAXATION ON INDIVIDUALS WHILE ALLOWING
CORPORATIONS TO CONTINUE TO USE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLY UNFAIR AS A
PROPOSAL. THE PROPOSE ELIMINATION OF THE
STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION COMES ON THE HEELS OF A
RELENTLESS PATTERN OF FEDERAL CUTS TO LOCALITIES IN MANY
CRITICAL AREAS SUCH AS EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, HOUSING,
AND INFRASTRUCTURE. THESE CUTS HAVE SHIFTED THE
BURDEN OF FUNDING CRITICAL SERVICES TO THE LOCALITIES LIKE
MINE AND MAYOR BOWSER’S WHICH THEN HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO RAISE
TAX REVENUES AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS. ELIMINATING THE STATE AND LOCAL
TAX DEDUCTION IS NOT REAL TAX REFORM, RATHER IT WOULD MERELY
BE A SHIFT OF THE TAX BURDEN FROM THE LOCAL LEVEL TO THE
STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS. THIS IS A CLASSIC SHELL GAME AND
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT FOOLED. AS WE ALL KNOW, LOCAL GOVERNMENT
IS WHERE CITIZENS RECEIVE SUCH BASIC SERVICES AS POLICE AND
FIRE PROTECTION, EDUCATION, AND THE SOCIAL SERVICE SAFETY NET. THESE SERVICES AND MORE
INCLUDING OUR OBLIGATIONS TO FUND OUR METRO SYSTEM WILL BE
PUT AT SERIOUS RISK. IF THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION IS ELIMINATED AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE FORCED TO
CUT BACK ON OUR ALREADY FINANCIALLY STRESSED BUDGETS —
AND I CAN SPEAK FOR MYSELF SAYING WE HAVE CUT TO THE MARROW
OF THE BONE. I RAISE MY VOICE HERE TODAY TO
JOIN YOU IN ASKING THE CONGRESS TO PLEASE PRESERVE THE STATE AND
LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION WHICH HAS BEEN A CORNERSTONE OF OUR TAX
SYSTEM FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU SO MUCH. SO WE ARE GOING TO HEAR FROM OUR
OTHER SPEAKERS, MATTHEW CHASE FOLLOWED BY IRMA ESPARZA DIGGS
AND ANDREW KONESCHUSKY.>>I’M GOING TO ADD OUR VOICE OF
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES IN CALLING FOR CONGRESS
TO RESTORE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION. AS YOU JUST HEARD FROM THE
MAYOR, IT’S BEEN AROUND SINCE 1913 AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO
UNDERSTAND THAT IT EVEN DATES BACK TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS IN TALKING ABOUT THE CONCERNS OVER THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOMINATING THE TAXATION OF OUR RESIDENTS. SALT WAS IMPOSED ALONG WITH THE
EXEMPTION OF THE MUNICIPAL BONDS IN 1913 TO AVOID THE FEDERAL
DOMINANCE AND INTRUSION OVER STATE AND LOCAL TAX DECISIONS. WE WANT TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL
NEIGHBORHOODS, OUR COMMUNITIES AND OUR STATES MAKING DECISIONS
THAT BENEFIT THE RESIDENTS. THE CONCERNS OF OUR FOUNDERS ARE
ACTUALLY BECOMING REAL TODAY WHERE WE ARE SEEING A MASSIVE
FEDERAL REVENUE GRAB OF ABOUT $1.1 TRILLION FOR TEMPORARY
INDIVIDUAL TAX CUTS THAT, AS THE DELEGATE MENTIONED, SPIKE AFTER
2020. THIS PROVISION, AS WE ARE TOLD,
WAS AIMED TO PUNISH THE BLUE STATES, BUT IN REALITY IT
PUNISHES ALL OF AMERICA’S LOCAL COMMUNITIES. IT’S ABOUT STARVING STATE AND
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OF OUR REVENUE. RIGHT NOW WE ARE DEALING WITH
PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING THE DRUG
CRISIS WITH OPIOID AND HEROIN. PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUES AS WELL AS
DISASTERS. A VAST MAJORITY OF OUR COUNTIES
ACROSS THE CUP ARE TRYING TO RECOVER FROM REALLY HISTORIC
DISASTERS AND THEY ARE ALSO LOOKING AT THIS PROVISION REALLY
STARVING OUR SCHOOLS. WE ALSO THINK IT’S A DOUBLE
STANDARD THAT CORPORATIONS CAN CONTINUE TO DEDUCT THEIR STATE
AND LOCAL TAXES, EVEN THEIR TAXES TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND
YET OUR INDIVIDUALS CANNOT DEDUCT THEIR STATE AND LOCAL
TAXES. IT ALSO HURTS CHARITABLE GIVING. THEY HAVE BEEN SELLING THAT THE
DOUBLING OF THE STANDARD DEDUCTION WILL HELP. MEANWHILE, YOU’LL PAY MORE TAXES
ON YOUR FEDERAL INCOME AND PROVIDE A DISINCENTIVE FOR
CHARITIES FOR CHARITABLE GIVING. WE THINK THIS WILL PUT EXTRA
BURDENS ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AS CHARITABLE FUNDING
DECLINES, THE DEMAND FOR THEIR SERVICES AT THE STATE AND LOCAL
LEVEL WILL INCREASE AND, THEREFORE, WE’LL CONTINUE TO SEE
COST INCREASES. IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT ONCE
SALT IS LOST FOR OUR STATE AND LOCAL RESIDENTS, WE WILL NEVER
GET IT BACK. THE TAX BREAKS, THE TAX CREDITS
ARE TEMPORARY AND YET SALT HAS BEEN A PERMANENT PART OF THE TAX
CODE. ONCE IT’S LOST, IT’S LOST FOR
GOOD AND WE’LL SEE THE LARGEST TRANSFER OF REVENUE FROM THE
STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. SO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
COUNTIES SUPPORTS LOCAL CONTROL AND THE ABILITY FOR OUR CITIZENS
TO MAKE DECISIONS. THEREFORE, WE ARE CALLING ON
CONGRESS TO PRESERVE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION AS WELL
AS THE INTEREST ON PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS AND TAX-EXEMPT
MUNICIPAL BONDS. THANK YOU.>>MAYOR: IRMA.>>THANK YOU, MAYOR, THANK YOU,
CONGRESSWOMAN. AND MY STATE AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT COLLEAGUES FOR BEING HERE TODAY. MY NAME IS IRMA ESPARZA DIGGS
AND I’M WITH THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES. AS CITY LEADERS WE KNOW OUR
FEDERAL TAX CODE IS COMPLICATED AND IN NEED OF SIMPLIFICATION. BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT DOUBLE
TAXING AMERICAN FAMILIES AND HAVING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
PLACE THE BURDEN ON CITIES IS NOT RIGHT. AND IT’S NOT THE WAY TO PAY FOR
IT. AND IT IS NOT THE WAY TO MOVE
AMERICA FORWARD AS CITIES ARE REALLY THE ECONOMIC ENGINE OF
THIS COUNTRY. WE ARE HERE TODAY TO THANK THOSE
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO UNDERSTAND WHAT’S AT STAKE IN
THIS STAKE REFORM PLAN, IN BOTH THE CURRENT HOUSE AND SENATE
VERSION OF THE BILLS. WE URGE ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
TO PRESERVE THE TAX EXEMPTION ON PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS. THEY HELP SPUR PRIVATE
INVESTMENT FOR PROJECTS SUCH AS HEALTHCARE FACILITIES, AIRPORTS,
SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES, WATER AND SEWER FACILITIES AND COMMUTING
CENTERS. WE THANK THE MUNICIPAL FINANCE
CAUCUS CHAIRED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF MARYLAND FOR
THEIR LEADERSHIP IN THIS AREA. WE URGE CONGRESS TO PRESERVE THE
ADVANCED REFUNDING AUTHORIZATION, REPEAL THE
ADVANCE REFUNDING AUTHORIZATION IS A DIRECT HIT TO MUNICIPAL
BUDGETS BECAUSE ADVANCE REFUNDINGS OR EXCLUSIVELY DONE
BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ACHIEVE DEBT COST SAVINGS. AND THIS HAS SAVED NOT ONLY
TAXPAYERS BUT MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. AGAIN, AS MY COLLEAGUES HAVE
STATED, WE URGE CONGRESS TO PRESERVE THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION. NO FEDERAL LAW OR LEGISLATION
SHOULD PREEMPT, LIMIT OR INTERFERE WITH THE
CONSTITUTIONAL OR STATUTORY RIGHTS OF STATE AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS TO DEVELOP AND OPERATE OUR OWN TAX SYSTEMS. WE URGE CONGRESS TO PRESERVE THE
NEW MARKET TAX CREDITS AND THE HISTORIC TAX CREDITS. THE HISTORIC TAX CREDITS
SPECIFICALLY ENCOURAGE THE REDEVELOPMENT OF HISTORIC AND
ABANDONED BUILDINGS AND THE NEW MARKET TAX CREDIT SIGNIFICANTLY
INCREASED PRIVATE CAPITAL TO SMALL BUSINESSES AND LOCAL
ENTREPRENEURS WORKING IN DISTRESSED COMMUNITIES. BOTH WOULD BE ELIMINATED UNDER
THIS ACT. IN OTHER WORDS, WASHINGTON
CANNOT PASS THE COST OF TAX REFORM ON TO AMERICA’S 19,000
CITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. THERE IS A LONG HISTORY OF A
FEDERAL-LOCAL PARTNERSHIP WHEN IT COMES TO MOVING AMERICA
FORWARD. PROVISIONS IN THIS TAX REFORM
PROPOSAL NOT ONLY ALARM US AS CITY LEADERS BUT JEOPARDIZE THAT
HISTORIC RELATIONSHIP. CITIES NEED CONGRESS TO CREATE A
TAX REFORM PROPOSAL AND PLAN THAT SUPPORTS LOCAL ECONOMIC
GROWTH AND WE ASK THAT CONGRESS STAND WITH CITIES TO SUPPORT OUR
NATION’S ECONOMY. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU, MAYOR BOWSER,
DELEGATE NORTON. MY NAME IS ANDREW KONESCHUSKY. I’M SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF
AMERICANS AGAINST DOUBLE TAXATION. WE ARE A COALITION OF
ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
AND OUR MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
COUNTIES, OUR FRIENDS AT THE LEAGUE OF CITIES, BUT ALSO
REALTORS, EDUCATORS, PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS AND MORE. GROUPS THAT WILL BE IMPACTED IF
THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION IS CUT OR ELIMINATED
IN ANY WAY. AND THAT’S THE MAIN GOAL OF OUR
COALITION, THE FULL PRESERVATION OF THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION. NOW, WE HAVE RUN THE NUMBERS. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. MANY MIDDLE CLASS TAXPAYERS
AROUND THE COUNTRY WILL SEE THEIR TAXES INCREASE IF THE
STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION IS CUT. MIDDLE CLASS HOMEOWNERS WILL
EXPERIENCE A DOUBLE WHAMMY. IN SOME CASES, THEIR TAXES WILL
GO UP WHILE HOME VALUES DECLINE. AND AS YOU HAVE ALREADY HEARD,
THE WASHINGTON METRO REGION WILL BE ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT AREAS
IN THE COUNTRY. NOW, WE HAVE ALREADY HEARD ABOUT
THE IMPACTS IN D.C. I’M GOING TO PROVIDE A LITTLE
BIT OF DATA ON VIRGINIA TO ILLUSTRATE THE IMPACT HERE. IN BARBARA COMSTOCK’S DIVISION,
MANY WILL SEE TAXES INCREASE BY AS MUCH AS $2,300. THAT DISTRICT IS THE VIRGINIA 10
AND IT INCLUDES ALL OF LOUDOUN COUNTY AS WELL AS PART OF
FAIRFAX AND PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTIES. LIKE WISE MANY MIDDLE CLASS
HOMEOWNERS IN REPRESENTATIVE WHITMAN’S DISTRICT WILL SEE
THEIR TAXES INCREASE BY AS MUCH AS $2,100. AND THAT DISTRICT INCLUDES
STAFFORD COUNTY AND PARTS OF PRINCE WILLIAM AND FAUQUIER
COUNTIES. WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES MAKING
THESE CLAIMS. ANALYSIS HAS SHOWN THERE WILL BE
TAX INCREASES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS. SPEAKER RYAN AND MAJORITY LEADER
McCONNELL HAVE ESSENTIALLY INDICATED THAT MANY MIDDLE CLASS
TAXPAYERS WILL SEE THEIR TAXES INCREASE. IT IS NOT JUST MIDDLE CLASS
TAXPAYERS WHO WILL SUFFER IF SALT IS CUT. CUTTING SALT CUTS ESSENTIAL
SERVICES SUCH AS EDUCATION. ACCORDING TO A STUDY RELEASED
LAST WEEK, IN VIRGINIA CUTTING THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX
DEDUCTION PUTS AT RISK MORE THAN 9,000 EDUCATOR JOBS AND IT COULD
LEAD TO 8 BILLION IN CUTS TO EDUCATION FUNDING ACROSS THE
STATE. IN MARYLAND, CUTTING SALT
THREATENS MORE THAN 7,000 EDUCATOR JOBS AND COULD LEAD TO
CUTS OF MORE THAN $8.8 BILLION IN EDUCATION FUNDING ACROSS THE
STATE. AND THESE NUMBERS ARE BASED OFF
THE HOUSE BILL. THE SENATE BILL IS EVEN WORSE
BECAUSE THE SENATE BILL FULLY ELIMINATES THE STATE AND LOCAL
TAX DEDUCTION. IN SUM, CUTTING SALT WILL FORCE
TAXPAYERS TO PAY A TAX ON A TAX AND THAT IS DOUBLE TAXATION. CORPORATIONS WILL STILL BE ABLE
TO FULLY DEDUCT SALT WHILE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES AROUND
THE COUNTRY WILL NOT AND THAT’S A DOUBLE STANDARD. AND MANY MIDDLE CLASS HOMEOWNERS
WILL SEE THEIR TAXES GO UP WHILE THEIR HOME VALUES DECLINE AND
THAT’S A DOUBLE WHAMMY. SO WE ARE URGING MEMBERS OF
CONGRESS TO SIDE WITH THEIR DISTRICTS, SIDE WITH THEIR
CONSTITUENTS. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS,
THE ONLY CONCLUSION THAT CAN BE DRAWN IS THAT MEMBERS OF
CONGRESS, BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, NEED TO SUPPORT THE FULL
PRESERVATION OF THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION. THANK YOU.>>WELL, IF THERE ARE QUESTIONS
FOR ANY OF US, WE WOULD BE PLEASED TO TAKE THEM. AS YOU CAN SEE, WE HAVE SPOKEN
TO VARIOUS ISSUES. AND THIS DOES GET TO BE
TECHNICAL. BUT THE REASON THAT IT WAS
IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO HEAR OUT THESE ISSUES IS THAT THE AVERAGE
TAXPAYER NEEDS TO KNOW WHICH OF THESE ISSUES REALLY HITS THEM IN
THE GUT. SO IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS,
OTHERWISE WE THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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