Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Congressional Democrats try to repeal SALT deduction limits

Today’s Brew highlights efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal IRS regulations + an invitation for you— our Brew readers—to provide us with feedback  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, July 22, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Congress to consider overturning IRS rules limiting state and local tax deductions
  2. Grade Ballotpedia’s coverage of Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis
  3. Join us for our July 24 briefing on the Supreme Court and the administrative state

Democrats in Congress attempt to overturn IRS rules limiting state and local tax deductions

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limits the amount a taxpayer can deduct to $10,000 for state and local sales, income, and property taxes—also known as the SALT deduction. After that law was enacted, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut changed their state tax laws to allow taxpayers to receive state tax credits for making charitable donations—which can be deducted for federal tax purposes—to certain funds in those states. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued regulations in June that reduce a taxpayer’s federal charitable tax deduction based on how much of a deduction their state or local governments provide. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) introduced companion resolutions last week under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) which would repeal the IRS’ regulation. As of July 19, these resolutions had attracted 61 Democratic cosponsors and one Republican cosponsor—Rep. Peter King (N.Y.).

The CRA allows Congress to overturn any new regulation created by federal administrative agencies. To repeal any rule, a CRA resolution must be approved by both Houses of Congress and signed by the president.

The CRA was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. According to the official legislative history of the law, Congress intended to establish a review system to address the complaint that it had allowed federal agencies too much latitude in implementing and interpreting legislation.

Since the law’s creation, 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register have been repealed. Before 2017, Congress had successfully overturned one rule on workplace ergonomics in 2001. Sixteen federal rules have been repealed using the CRA under the Trump administration. Since 1996, 13 attempts to overturn rules under the CRA either failed to pass both Houses or were vetoed by the president.

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Ballotpedia’s July report card

Ballotpedia exists to serve our readers. We want to make it easier for you to receive neutral, unbiased coverage of the American political system. We are always looking for new ways to improve the quality of our content. Today’s idea – asking you, our readers, for some direct feedback! 

The link below contains our articles about Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Governor of California, and Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida. Our goal is to provide high-quality, neutral, encyclopedic profiles of these governors that give you a good understanding of each person’s role in the American political system. 

We have created a simple rubric that we hope will make it easy for you, our readers, to provide us feedback. The link has a scale for grading articles based on the extent to which the article falls short of, meets, or exceeds your expectations.

We are so grateful for any time you take to help make Ballotpedia a better encyclopedia.

Please help us out, and tell us what you think

Join us for our July 24 briefing on the Supreme Court and the administrative state

ICYMI—sign up for our free briefing this week looking back on the last SCOTUS term (and a sneak peek to next year). The briefing is on July 24 at 11:00 am CST.

We are just 78 days until the next term begins. If you’re like me, that’s an awfully long time to wait for new oral arguments. 

Fortunately, there are still all of last term’s decisions to be reviewed and analyzed, and at Ballotpedia, we have plenty of folks who love to do just that. The briefing will focus in particular on the Court’s rulings from last term that affect the administrative state. 

This includes the Court’s decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, which considered the question of Auerdeference—that is, whether federal courts should defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of its own ambiguous regulations in limited circumstances. Although the Court did not overturn Auer, it’s unanimous decision did place clear limitations on which regulatory interpretations qualify for deference. 

We’ll provide an overview of the Court’s entire term and explore its rulings on principles such as the nondelegation doctrine and judicial review to learn what the Court’s decisions indicate for future administrative law cases. 

If this sounds interesting but you’re concerned that it all sounds very complicated, don’t be. Our experts will walk you through these topics so you’ll have a clear understanding. And when it’s done, just imagine the subjects you can bring up at your next barbeque. It’ll be worth it—click the link below to register and join us.

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About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at dave.beaudoin@ballotpedia.org

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