Married Couples to Receive Thousands Under New Tax Break

January 31, 2024

By Giulia Carbonaro

After an unexpected revolt from New York House Republican moderates earlier this week, a tax cut bill for married households filing a tax return jointly is set to be discussed in the chamber in the coming days, according to reports.

A group of four New York House Republicans held up a procedural vote on unrelated bills on Tuesday as a warning shot against the GOP for failing to include a reform of SALT—the federal deduction for state and local taxes—in a bipartisan tax package set to expand the child tax credit and restore some tax breaks for businesses.

During his 2017 tax overhaul, Donald Trump imposed a $10,000 SALT cap, which the rebelling New York House Republicans said disproportionately hurt taxpayers in blue states—where property and state income taxes are higher than elsewhere.

Using a method that has been tried and tested by hardliners in the GOP, Reps. Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Andrew Garbarino and Mike Lawler threatened to block legislative action over an enhancement of SALT—reportedly obtaining reassurance from their party an amendment to the bill will be discussed in the coming days.

Commenting on this concession, Lawler, one of the four rebelling House Republicans, wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “I look forward to the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act coming to the floor and passing the House. Upon its passage, Senator Schumer must move it through the Senate asap. The hard-working taxpayers of #NY17 deserve nothing less.”

On Wednesday night, LaLota wrote on the social media platform: “I promised Long Islanders I would fight tooth and nail for SALT relief and vote against this year’s tax bill if it didn’t have a reasonable amount of SALT in it. Tonight I fulfilled that promise by voting against the Wyden-Smith tax bill.”

He added: “Thankfully, the fight for SALT isn’t over. Tonight I helped introduce the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act, which would raise the joint filing deduction to 20k and ensure that we keep our promise to push pro-family and tax-cutting bills. Speaker Johnson has pledged to allow this bill to come to the floor next week. Stay tuned!”

Newsweek called the offices of LaLota, D’Esposito, Garbarino and Lawler on Thursday morning outside standard working hours and is awaiting a response.

According to the change to the bill obtained by the New York House Republicans, as shown in the redacted text posted by journalist Laura Weiss on X, the deduction cap for married couples could be increased from $10,000 to $20,000.

This is valid “in the case of a joint return for a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2022, and before January 1, 2024, if the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income for such a taxable year is less than £500,000.” Having the amendment backdated to December 31, 2022 means that the change would apply to married households for all of last year.

Weiss wrote that it “is a very limited, temporary deduction increase for married couples.” Weiss said that a source stated a meeting over the SALT bill should take place on Thursday morning.

As per anonymous sources quoted by The Hill, Congress should meet to discuss a SALT-related bill in the coming days. The same sources believe the bill will reach the chamber under a rule rather than a fast-track suspension process. wrote that a floor vote on changes to SALT might come “as soon as next week.”

After making this concession to the four New York House Republicans, the House passed the $78 billion bipartisan tax bill—the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act—on Wednesday evening with a 357 to 70 vote. It’s unclear whether the bill will pass so smoothly through the Senate.

The business and tax credit changes would last until the end of 2025, when the bulk of the tax cuts contained in the 2017 overhaul expires.