Most of central and northern New York’s members of Congress voted for the Republican tax overhaul bill which passed the House of Representatives Thursday.
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says the bill provides tax cuts to the middle and working class. He says it also lowers the corporate tax rate from one of the highest in the world to some of the lowest.
“All I’ve heard from manufacturers and businessmen around central New York is ‘if you can give us the ability to compete on the world stage, we don’t need an unfair advantage, we just need a more level playing field, we’ll take care of the rest, we can expand, we can have more jobs here and we can be competitive’,” said Katko.
The House’s version of the bill eliminates the deduction for state and local income and sales taxes but keeps the deduction for property taxes, capped at $10,000. The Senate's version, as of now, eliminates the property tax deduction. Katko says if that is removed from the final bill, he won't support it.
“I made it very clear to them that is a red line that cannot be crossed,” he said. “They can’t mess with that, and if they do, I’m out. And they know it. They’ve assured me that will not happen, but if it does, I will not support the final bill.”
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) also voted for the legislation. She placed the blame for New York's high taxes on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature, saying in a statement that “Albany's unfunded mandates continue to drive up the cost of living in New York.” She also called on Cuomo and the legislature to work to lower taxes in the state.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) also voted for the bill.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) was the only member of Congress from the region to vote against it. In a statement, she said she was concerned about the elimination of some deductions from state and local taxes.
Gov. Cuomo earlier today called the bill “poisonous” and said that New York’s Republican members of Congress who voted for it are “treasonous.”