Washington, DC—In response to the House Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Reform proposal, U.S. Conference of Mayors President and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement:

“The nation’s mayors strongly oppose the House Republican tax proposal, released today, that fails to preserve the full deductibility of State and Local taxes, commonly known as SALT. More than forty-three million American families use the SALT deduction, representing over 100 million Americans. Any elimination or cap on SALT – especially one that is designed to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy – is simply unacceptable and would put an even greater burden on our hard- working American families and the communities they live in.

“The proposal repeals the deductibility of state income taxes and sales taxes, while capping the deductibility of property taxes at $10,000. This is an arbitrary proposal that is bad public policy and still subjects millions of struggling middle class Americans to double taxation. Further, this type of overreach and federal intrusion into state and local tax policy–the kind that favors one tax approach over another– disrespects the sovereignty of states and localities and over-complicates state and local tax policy.

“State and local taxes fund a large portion of local school district budgets across the country, in addition to public health programs to the poor, such as Medicaid, and essential public services.  To subject these state and local taxes to an additional federal tax makes no sense and makes a mockery of our federal system. Since 1913 the federal government has made it a principle to keep these two taxing systems separate. It is ironic that for years many of the same members of Congress who have touted the return of authority to State and local government, would now do the opposite. By taxing our ability to pay for the majority of basic public services Americans receive, they undermine the government closest to the people–all in the name of reform that our children will pay for well into the future.

“We call on the Congress to preserve the full deductibility of State and local taxes to protect the middle class in cities and counties across America.”