Op-ed: Think twice before eliminating the SALT deduction

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 9, 2017 12:39 p.m.

    Some interesting comments on the property taxes etc.

    To make things more fair, maybe the final tax bill can "compromise" and allow the first $10,000 of property, sales and/or income taxes to be deducted. That helps prevent New York and California from avoiding paying their fair share of federal tax.

    As regards double taxation, which tax is "primary"? Federal taxes come first because everyone pays those. Then local taxes are paid.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 1:30 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon - Everett, WA
    Dec. 8, 2017 12:30 p.m.

    Thanks for your response, and your service. I too have traveled "all over the world" and retired from Ft. Lewis WA. So, I have a pretty good idea of land values in King County and the surrounding area and property, sales, and other taxes in the area.

    I've never intentionally, "bad-mouthed" any state. Every state has its issues, virtues, and shortcomings. Each state has the ability to fix its unique issues. I picked Utah because I can live with its current situation. Bad air will drive me out.

    The issue is within a Federal System, people have a Federal and a State Government. Both provide benefits, and demand payment(taxes) for their services. State and local taxes, and Federal Taxes should be paid. State taxes should not relieve its residents of any portion of paying the Federal bill.

    Services provided by the states do not reduce the federal benefits or responsibilities of any citizen. Everyone has the same Defense bill, Social Security, Medicare,... that the Federal Government provides. The states do nothing to fund these services.

    We need to dump the SALT deduction. It puts everyone on a level paying field.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    Dec. 8, 2017 12:30 p.m.

    @majmajor - Layton, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 10:26 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon - Everett, WA
    Dec. 8, 2017 9:44 a.m.

    You should move back here, from WA.


    1. Those numbers are based on living in Utah. I have had this DN account for over 12 years, and moved to Utah 10 years ago - show me where to change/edit I'd be happy to do it.

    2. The State of Washington has no income tax and no sales tax on the basics - food, clothing, shelter. My taxes [and Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos's] were all WAY less there and schools and public services were all far superior to Utah.

    3. I'm not trying to bash Utah -- quite the contrary, I'm actually trying to IMPROVE it.

    4. In my life, I have actually lived all over the Unites States and the world. [I'm a Veteran]
    Unless there is change, the way things are going now my next move will be to Canada or possibly New Zealand. If I'm going to have to pay over a 1/3 of my income in taxes - I might as well get the free healthcare and a decent retirement. My VA certainly won't be enough to cover it....

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    The rich are getting their deduction for their private jets; the middle class is getting ice water poured over their heads.

  • Truthczar Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 8, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    The mayor is wrong. Do not punish states for fiscally responsibility and lower taxes.

    Liberal states can still keep higher taxes; don't force other states to pay for their bloat.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Dec. 8, 2017 10:37 a.m.

    Re: "Beyond the unfairness of middle-class family tax increases,and double taxation . . ."


    Republican politics has NOTHING to do with fairness.

    Republican politics is all about lying, cheating, and defrauding . . . And guaranteeing wealthy donors even greater wealth at the expense of everyone else.

    Why do you think the lying, cheating, thieving Putin Puppet in the White House is the chosen leader of the Republican Party?

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 8, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    To the critics of New York and California. One would think these places the worst in the country. But then again, California is the largest state by population and still growing. And New York is the home to vast droves of opportunity and wealth. And Wall Street! Now citizens of those two states pay high taxes, and are net revenue producers to the US Treasury. They will be hurt by the SALT reductions. However, these high tax states won't collapse.

    Oh, and BTW, Montana is a high tax state as well. We have a high income tax (but no sales tax). We lose out, as do the citizens of Utah with their property tax and income tax deductions.

    Sadly, the DN is only now reacting to the news that the SALT deduction will surely be eliminated, thereby hurting many in the middle class in Utah (the rich dislike this, but it won't change their behavior). My question to the editorial page of the DN, why did it take you so long? Is this your political bias showing (speak no ill of a GOP bill or candidate)? Or is this some ruse to paper over your slavish devotion to GOP causes?

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 10:26 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon - Everett, WA
    Dec. 8, 2017 9:44 a.m.

    You should move back here, from WA.

    FYI, Utah intentionally taxes things that are NON-DEDUCTIBLE. The following are examples of non-deductible taxes for individuals (some on your list, and there are several more that I can’t think of);
    - vehicles - age based, not value based - only value based is taxable
    - sales tax
    - increased vehicle registration fees on hybrids

    The only thing that is a significant tax deduction for my family is my home’s property tax.

    Taking a look at the value of the SALT deduction in an apples-to-apples comparison, a family, making $75K in King County, WA will pay LESS federal taxes then the same family in Layton, UT.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    Dec. 8, 2017 9:44 a.m.

    I've used 2 different tax programs along with last year's 1040 to assess the GOP tax plan for myself.

    I make $75,000
    My 'new' Federal tax rate bracket being proposed tax drops a whopping $375.
    That is what they try to tell is so good about it.

    However --
    My Utah State Tax was $3500 -
    other my other Local taxes [i.e., property, cars, etc.] is another $3300
    so, I will actually lose $6800 in Federal deductions --

    Therefore, our tax liability actually increases another $2100.
    so our NET total tax out-of-pocket will actually increase by $1,725
    which the GOP will NOT tell us.

    Do not believe the GOP liars!
    Do the math people --
    Numbers do no lie.

    The liars will tell you this helps the middle class --
    and then assume you are too stupid to actually check the math --

    As I simply demonstrated -- it will not.
    only the Corporations and uber-wealthy are made better off!

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 9:16 a.m.

    Bottem line. Eliminating the SALT deduction hurts the wealthy, and doesn't affect the poor. No wonder the Dems. are crying.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    So using some commenters logic California and other liberal states are subsidizing charity deductions of republican states.

    So in the end it all evens out as long as citizens get to deduct their salt.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 7:21 a.m.

    Eliminating the SALT deduction was part of the plan, to punish states and cities who have the temerity to try and solve problems themselves, and use locally raised tax revenue to address issues.

    *When* (not "if") the economy turns south and federal tax revenues are constrained, the pressure will be on to dramatically cut the Department of Education and the associated monies that come to Utah schools.

    Corporate cuts are permanent, the individual cuts expire after 5 years, so as the rising federal tax burden squeezes state taxes, tax payers will be at war with each other regarding the funding of schools here in Utah.

    Anti-tax politicians will push for a 50% copay for parents to pay for their childrens' K-12 education.

    Citizens turning against each other, children feeling like a burden. This is the kind of future we voted for, folks.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 5:09 a.m.

    California residents reduce their Federal tax burden by 101 billion dollars a year. New York by close to 50 billion.

    These States are run by Democrats who never stop shouting about how the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes; while they (Ca. and N.Y.) steal from the other 48 States.


  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 4:38 a.m.

    The SALT deduction is just another cynical ploy for Republicans to make a small group pay for their gift to the wealthy and, at the same time stick it to blue states.


    But, if the folks who choose to live in high tax Nirvanas like New York and California were paying their fair share to the feds”

    California’s economy contributes substantially to U.S. GDP. It is more than paying its share, WalletHub ranked CA as #46 (high to low) in how many net federal dollars it receives. (UT ranked #40–receiving more net federal dollars than CA).

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 3:45 a.m.

    By voting to eliminate the SALT deductions, Congress made it clear that the rest of the nation should not be subsidizing high state tax rates, like those in largely Democratic states, like New York and California.

    In my opinion, the compromise is noteworthy and praiseworthy, too.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 11:04 p.m.

    Real tax reform is about eliminating a ton of complexity of the current tax system and taking away government's ability to coerce behavior through the tax code.

    I am in favor of eliminating all the various tax deductions in EXCHANGE for lower overall tax rates. If you just eliminate deductions while leaving all the rates the same, then yes you are raising taxes.

    But I would much rather have a simplified system where I pay a lower rate on all my earnings and forget about needing to keep track of every expense so that I can get that lower 'effective' tax rate on April 15 through deductions after I have filled out a ton of paperwork and paid my accountant a lot of fees.

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 9:52 p.m.

    This is a ridiculous article. Fear mongering and hyperbole....We don't get to write off the sales tax we pay.....how is that tragedy any less than losing the balance of the SALT deduction?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 9:13 p.m.

    Wrong, Mr. Mayor (who has done a great job in our city, by the way!). The SALT deduction is grossly unfair.

    The insatiable federal spending machine demands more money every year. So, they jack up tax rates to get more. And everyone will pay more, which is okay, I guess.

    But, if the folks who choose to live in high tax Nirvanas like New York and California were paying their fair share to the feds (regardless of the extortionate amount of earning confiscated by their state) then the feds would not need to raise everyone's taxes as much.
    If the feds need $500 billion more to make up for those who took the SALT deduction, some of that will come from people not able to take SALT deductions, making them pay more than their fair share to the feds.

    So, when the bluest states are collecting money from their subjects, the feds come after people in places like Utah where we elect legislators who live within their means.

    Make everyone pay their fair share to the feds, regardless of how much their state or city taxes them. Eliminate the SALT deduction! Cut federal spending on every program but national defense!

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Dec. 7, 2017 8:47 p.m.

    When states pay higher taxes, they generally provide more services to their residents and ask for less from the federal government. I say we encourage states to continue to be self-reliant and take care of their people by keeping the SALT deduction.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 7:36 p.m.


    Losing this deduction hurts people in Utah. The narrative that it encourages states to jack up local taxes is a fallacy.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 7:04 p.m.


    You are right.

    "eliminating SALT could potentially lead to increased pressure on state and local elected officials to, in turn, lower their tax rates to offset the impact of the loss of the deductibility of those taxes."

    State and local officials NEED that pressure to manage services, and local and state taxes. If a city decides to charge more taxes for the same or undesired services as another city, that encourages people/businesses to "vote with their feet" and leave.

    The excuse that your city's taxes are high, "but you can take them off on your federal taxes," is dishonest, and a crutch that local officials use too often. We need to get rid of it.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 6:40 p.m.

    You are wrong.

    The “SALT deduction” is a bad deal for taxpayers that pay little state/local tax. The SALT deduction has been used by high-tax States and cities (i.e. New York City, New York State, California...) to have residents in other states pay a greater proportion of the Federal Tax.

    For example, people working in New York City pay an employment tax, AND a State Tax both of those taxes are currently used to reduce that individual's Federal taxes. So compared to a person making the same income as one in Utah, high tax state resident will pay LESS federal taxes. So we are subsidizing states with more social programs or services.

    I have no issue with New York/California over-taxing, or providing increased social services to its residents/workers, but they need to pay their share of THEIR Federal services. State taxes pay for STATE services, and shouldn't reduce a person's obligation to pay his/her Federal taxes. It is a Federal government. Citizens have obligations to their state, and federal government.

    Federal taxes need to be based on income, and not force conservative states to pay more taxes compared to liberal states for the same federal government.