One of the core beliefs of the Democratic party is fairness. Tax the rich, help the poor and spread the gains of a growing economy more widely.
It has been a consistent message by federal and state lawmakers alike. Until now.
On the heels of the new Republican tax law, state Democrats, who until recently were advocating higher taxes on the rich, are suddenly fighting to protect their own members of the top 1 percent from higher taxes. Some Dems are even proposing both — raise taxes on the wealthy with one hand and help them with the other.
The new divide is the result of the so-called SALT provisions of the new tax law. Taxpayers can only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes from their federal returns. In high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, more than a quarter of one-percenters will see tax hikes under the new cap in 2019. In New York, a whopping 40 percent of one-percenters will see tax hikes under the plan.
The Democratic governors of all three states have passed legislation aimed at helping those one-percenters avoid the new tax provision. In New York and New Jersey, they've proposed a scheme to allow taxpayers to give to charities that support local schools and other government services, and then allow those donations count as tax credits and become tax-deductible.