Yet Democrats are split between those who want to lower their constituents’ tax bills and progressives who want to avoid tax hikes for their lower-income districts.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has called the SALT deduction “a giveaway to the rich.”

“I don’t think that we should be holding the infrastructure package captive for a 100% full repeal of SALT,” she said last week. “We can have a conversation on the policy, but it’s a bit of an extreme position, to be frank.”

Her district comprises part of the Bronx and Queens, where only 7% of taxpayers claimed a SALT deduction in 2018, with the average lost deduction of $7,068.

Left-leaning think tanks have published scathing analyses of Democratic efforts to revive SALT. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said it would be an “overwhelmingly benefit high-income households.” The Brookings Institution calls it a “handout to the rich.”

Jared Bernstein, now an economic adviser to Biden, tweeted in 2019 that if people would’ve told him he’d be siding with Republicans over Democrats on a tax change, he “would have concluded you’d lost your mind.” Jason Furman, an economic adviser to President Barack Obama, has called restoring the SALT deduction a “waste of money.”

But anti-SALT cap Democrats are pressing forward with their attempts to restore the deductions anyway.

They say their middle-class constituents may look rich on paper, but the high cost of living in their communities mean many SALT beneficiaries are nurses, teachers and police officers.

“The SALT deduction was a lifeline to the middle class,” Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat, said. “A year ago there was no hope, six months ago we started to have hope and now we are going to do this.”

With assistance from Billy House.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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