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Opinion

Opinion: If California is worried about losing the SALT deduction, it should cut income taxes

Protesters demonstrate near the full Senate Budget Committee markup of the tax reform legislation on Capitol Hill on Nov. 28.
(Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images)

To the editor: Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin’s op-ed article deserves close examination. (“The GOP’s tax plan is terrible for Los Angeles,” Opinion, Nov. 29)

He cites the Joint Committee On Taxation as proof that 10 years from now, federal income taxes will increase for individuals earning less than $75,000. Further, federal taxes will increase by about 25% for people earning less than $30,000. I assume Galperin looked out so far because he expects the cuts in rates to individuals in the plan to be eliminated in eight years.

But will Congress actually allow a big tax increase to go into effect then? Why not just tell us what lower- and middle-income earners will pay in the meantime?

Furthermore, Galperin says the elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes will boost federal revenue by $1.3 trillion, with 2.2 million Angelenos now claiming only $33 million. Really? If his data are correct, we will take a loss of $15 per claimant.

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The questions Galperin needs to ask are why our state and local taxes are so high, and what explains the survival of many states that have no income tax. If Galperin is so concerned about losing our deduction for state and local taxes, there is an easy answer: Eliminate our state income tax.

Lee O’Connor, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: Allow me to predict for taxpayers how this will play out years from now.

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Right now, the Republicans are pushing a tax bill that will add more than $1 trillion to the national debt — which they would be whining long and loud about if it were proposed by the Democrats.

Two or three years from now, if they’re still in power, the Republicans will claim to be shocked, shocked by how large the deficit has become. And who will be responsible? Why, the people who can’t afford medical insurance, of course.

The elderly use Medicare, and the poor must use Medicaid. Cutting or doing away with those programs reduces the deficit.

As for the remaining budget hole, that will be squared away eventually because we reduced the corporate tax, and corporations are using that extra money to pay their employees more. And since those employees are making money, they’re paying more in taxes. Simple.

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Nicholas Orchard, Long Beach

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