Casten Continues to Push SALT Deduction Fix to Help Middle Class Families

June 27, 2019
Press Release
Congressman testifies before House Ways and Means Committee on legislation to provide relief to families unfairly harmed by Republican tax law

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) testified before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means on his legislation introduced with Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) to provide tax relief to middle-class families who were unfairly harmed by the 2017 Republican tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Casted and Underwood introduced H.R. 1757 to help constituents of the 6th Congressional District affected by the current State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap, it would also eliminate the marriage penalty and add an inflationary adjustment.

The Republican tax law enacted in 2017 disproportionately hurts Illinoisans in the 6th Congressional Districts by imposing a new cap on the SALT deduction at $10,000, whether taxpayers file individually or jointly. This deduction was previously unlimited.

To watch the full video of Congressman Casten’s testimony click the image above or click here.


Casten said, “The SALT tax is the biggest tax on the middle class.

I represent the 6th District of Illinois, it has the twelfth highest state and local tax of any Congressional District in the country. It is a highly educated, I think 23% of the folks in our District have a post-grad education. I am here in no small part because my predecessor, who served on this committee, was widely understood to have sold out his constituents for a tax break to corporations.

What those constituents of mine know, and I think what we all in this room and this body know, is that the tax breaks that were provided to corporations at a time of record corporate cash reserves, in order to get a straight party-line vote in the Senate, had all sorts of last-minute deductions crammed in there or cuts crammed in there as a partial pay for. The folks in the District understand that. Those folks are now partially paying the price of that unnecessary tax cut.

This was not an accident. That politically motivated attack on “blue states”, like mine, so-called “blue states”, targeted Illinois’ freedom to invest in its people and improve the quality of life so that it can remain an economic driver for the country.

Folks in the District who were angry at election time are now violently angry because they’ve paid their tax returns and felt the sting. Many of them are seeing thousand, two-thousand, three-thousand dollars more than they thought they were going to pay. These are teachers, nurses, law enforcement officers. They are angry. And some of them are now ready to leave our state.

The SALT deduction has been a part of our tax code in every year we have had a tax code. It exists to acknowledge the principle that the federal government should encourage state-derived investments and self-sufficiency and afford states with the independence to chart their own path and act locally.

That is why one of the first things I did after getting here was to introduce H.R. 1757 with Representative Underwood. Our bill would provide some tax relief to Illinois families unfairly harmed by a new tax burden by raising the current SALT deduction cap, eliminating the marriage penalty, and adding an inflationary adjustment.  I agree we’ve got to pay for it and that’s fine, but since this exists to partially pay for an unnecessary tax cut, I think we have plenty of room to figure out how to pay for that cost. Our legislation seeks to ease the tax burden and help to restore the longstanding concept underlying the SALT deduction that citizens shouldn’t have to pay taxes twice.

And it does not just help the homeowners who itemize their tax filings. By avoiding state and federal competition for finite tax resources, the SALT deduction enables Illinois to make critical investments in infrastructure, public education, economic development, and public safety.

Those investments are the future of our state.

I am proud to represent a state that that contributes more than it takes from the Federal Government. It is a credit to the State, it is a credit to the hardworking people who live there, and we need to make sure that we keep them.

It is time to address the tax burden on middle-class families and allow states and localities to invest in their futures. Thank you.