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Rep. Zeldin on House Tax Proposal: 'This Bill Can Be Improved'

(Fox News/"America's Newsroom")

By    |   Friday, 17 November 2017 02:41 PM

Rep. Lee Zeldin was one of the handful of Republicans voting against the House tax bill, but he said Friday he "absolutely can" see his way to changing his vote when a bill is reached that doesn't cause higher taxes for his constituents in New York.

"Just yesterday I had conversations with some White House officials and leadership in the House," the Republican lawmaker told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "This bill can be improved."

However, Zeldin said it's important that his constituents see tax relief, but "we're not there yet."

"I have too many constituents who will be paying higher taxes, so if we can work through those issues with regard to state and local tax deduction is one," he said. "It was progress that we saw a $10,000 property tax deduction cap. But we'll need to make a little more progress in order to take care of my constituents."

The issue concerning pass-through rules are also a concern, said Zeldin, as there remain some people who will get larger tax increases because of the way the pass-through rules are structured.

However, the Senate bill has some good things, such as deductions for mortgage interest and medical expenses, said Zeldin, and if the good things on both bills could be brought together and an important improvement on the state and local tax deduction can be reached, he'd consider a vote change, if there would be a cushion in which it was implemented.

"It's unrealistic to say, on Christmas, telling all of New York City you have until New Year's to fix this issue," said Zeldin. "I don't want my constituents caught in the crosshairs, where I'm making a decision, I'm casting a vote that means on Jan.1, 2018 they will be paying more in taxes.

"I understand full well that the reason why our state and local tax deduction is as high as it is because our state and local taxes are as high as they are."

The determine of what is middle class in the United States is also different, said Zeldin, and is much higher in New York City than in other parts of the country.

"The cost of living is a lot higher as well," he said. "The only thing I would add, as the subsidy piece you have to look at overall tax and spending policy. New York is a net contributor.

"We aren't going through all the different aspects of tax and spending policy trying to make all sorts of changes so that New York isn't a net contributor. I'm okay with that."

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Rep. Lee Zeldin was one of the handful of Republicans voting against the House tax bill, but he said Friday he "absolutely can" see his way to changing his vote when a bill is reached that doesn't cause higher taxes for his constituents in New York.
lee zeldin, gop, house, tax bill, changes
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2017-41-17
Friday, 17 November 2017 02:41 PM
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