On Thursday, the House voted on two bills related to tax breaks (H.R. 622 and H.R. 1105). I voted yes on H.R. 622 and no on H.R. 1105.
State & Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act (H.R. 622): Under current federal law, tax payers can claim an itemized deduction for the payment of certain state and local taxes. Beginning in 2005, residents in the seven states in the U.S. — including Texas — that don’t have state income taxes were allowed to take an itemized deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of the deduction for income taxes. This tax provision expired at the end of 2014.
H.R. 622 extend this tax provision so states likes Texas and its residents would be put on an equal playing field with other states that have a state income tax deduction and don’t have to rely on Congress to extend certain tax provisions. While I have historically voted against tax extender legislation, this is more about equality and fairness for Texas residents with the other 43 states.
Death Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 1105): Would permanently repeal the estate tax, which is a tax the government places on a deceased person’s property when it is transferred to his/her heirs. There is currently an exemption on the first $5.4 million in assets. This tax break would add roughly $270 billion dollars to the deficit over 10 years with no plan to pay for it, while only benefiting 0.2% of the population. I believe permanently extending this rule without some kind of comprehensive approach to making the tax coder simpler and fairer is inequitable and fiscally irresponsible.