Jerry Brown Vetoes Democrats’ Effort to Avoid Effect of Trump Tax Cuts

Jerry Brown and Kevin de Leon (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty
JOEL B. POLLAK

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Saturday that would have allowed wealthy taxpayers in the state to continue paying high state taxes voluntarily, and to avoid President Donald Trump’s new cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

The Trump tax cuts limited SALT deductions to $10,000. Many taxpayers will still end up paying lower federal taxes due to reductions in overall tax rates and reductions in corporate and small business taxes. However, some will pay more in “blue” states, where Democratic governments charge high taxes for a wide array of services and redistributive welfare programs.

State Sen. Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles) — who is now running for Senate against incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — proposed a bill to create a charitable organization that would pass contributions from taxpayers to the state. But the U.S. Treasury proposed new rules for tax collection that would block wealthy taxpayers from using De Léon’s charity scheme.

Though the Brown administration has relished most fights against the federal government, this was one that Gov. Brown seems to have judged that he could not win. He explained Saturday in a letter accompanying his veto: “This measure started as a bold idea but because of adverse changes in the federal tax law, it now confuses an already complicated scheme and could invite intervention by the Internal Revenue Service.”

Meanwhile, De Léon continues to press Feinstein for a debate:

Feinstein is widely expected to win, despite recent controversies over her handling of the Supreme Court confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is awaiting a final Senate vote Friday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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