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Opinion

The SALT deduction helps mostly rich taxpayers. Getting rid of it should please liberals

To the editor: Harold Meyerson’s view of the tax plan proposed by President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress is curiously slanted. (“The GOP keeps coming after blue states, especially California,” Opinion, Oct. 3)

As an income and wealth redistributor, he should be happy that the new tax plan will severely impact the wealthy in California. Since the richest 1% of Californians pay nearly half the income taxes and the top 10% pay about 80%, it’s mostly the wealthy who benefit from the federal deduction for taxes paid to state and local governments, known as the SALT deduction. Most middle-class taxpayers in California will likely see a decrease in taxes under the Republican plan.

The increased federal tax revenue from wealthy Californians will be redistributed to the many other states that have lower rates. The California wealthy who have been subsidized for many years via this federal deduction will no longer get this subsidy.

Eliminating this deduction may even force the California Legislature to carefully consider future tax increases. This seems like a good thing.

David A Korte, Yorba Linda

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To the editor: Here’s a reasonable question that all voters in Orange County and other places served by Republicans in Congress should ask their representatives:

“Do you support eliminating the federal deduction for state and local taxes, despite the negative financial impact it would have on the citizens in your district? Will you vote against any tax package that incorporates the elimination of these crucial deductions for your constituents?”

Let’s watch Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa, Mimi Walters and Ed Royce wriggle their way around that one.

Michael Schneider, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: Bribery is alive and well in the United States.

Every state generates income to pay for services through taxation of one form or another. But through past bribery, rich people in a few big states got a big tax break in the form of the SALT deduction. Now the GOP wants to cancel this absurd tax break but is considering bribing select GOP representatives to gain their votes by continuing it. (“Republicans consider keeping the state and local tax deduction as they search for votes for overhaul,” Oct. 4)

We want tax reform to bring fairness and justice to our country while also generating enough income to reduce deficit spending. We want a good progressive tax policy, without subsidies for the top 1%, implemented to fund government without using bribery.

Ben Tenn, Northridge

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