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GOP congressman votes 'no' on tax bill, calls it a 'geographic redistribution of wealth'

  • Not all Republican lawmakers were cheering passage of the party's sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax code on Wednesday.
  • Rep. Lee Zeldin, R- N.Y., called it "a geographic redistribution of wealth" that takes money from certain states to pay for deeper tax cuts elsewhere.
  • The House voted Wednesday on the bill, sending it to President Donald Trump to sign.

Not all Republican lawmakers were cheering the passage of the party's sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax code Wednesday.

Among the 12 who voted against the bill was Rep. Lee Zeldin, R- N.Y.

In an interview with "Power Lunch," he said he believes there are good aspects on the corporate side, but he disagrees with the changes to the state and local tax deductions (SALT).

Currently there is no limit on the amount that can be deducted. The final bill caps the combined state, local and property tax deduction at $10,000. That's expected to hurt high-tax states.

"It's a geographic redistribution of wealth … when you are taking extra money from a state like New York or New Jersey to pay for a deeper tax cut elsewhere," Zeldin said.

He believes there could have been a better way to change the provision.

"If you are going to make a change, you phase it down over two-, three-, four-plus years to a number that fully protects middle-income itemizers. That's better policy," Zeldin said.

The number he thinks would protect those middle-income filers in his district is a cap at $20,000 or $25,000.

Politicians from the high-tax states have been against changes to the SALT deduction, saying it would result in a tax hike not a tax cut.

Earlier Wednesday, New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy told CNBC the state may seek to challenge in court the "legality and constitutionality" of the legislation. He called it an "awful bill for America."

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., agrees.

"We need to explore every single way to make sure we actually cut taxes and deal with this in New Jersey so we don't start to lose businesses and people fleeing our state to other states," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

That includes looking at how the state can give tax relief, as well as pursuing "every single legal challenge possible."

The bill is now on its way to President Donald Trump's desk for signature.