General President Ed Kelly and General Secretary-Treasurer Frank Líma were on Capitol Hill June 23 with a clear message to lawmakers to repeal the cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions. The cap limits taxpayers to deducting up to $10,000 in state and local income, property and sales tax from their federal income. This limitation puts greater financial stress on municipal fire and EMS department budgets while also raising taxes on American workers and taxpayers, including fire fighters, across the country.

President Kelly and Secretary-Treasurer Líma joined a growing coalition of lawmakers and labor leaders in calling the three-year-old cap on SALT deductions anti-union and damaging to hard-working middle-class workers and their families.

During the press conference on the U.S. Capitol Grounds, Kelly said the SALT Cap did not create jobs and, in fact, raised taxes for many in the middle class, including fire fighters. The change in the deduction also has put financial stress on municipalities as they reduce taxes and cut vital public safety services hoping to the ease burden on taxpayers.

“In these unprecedented times, the cap on state and local tax deductions puts significant stress on fire and EMS department budgets, and arbitrarily raises taxes on middle-class workers, like fire fighters,” Kelly said. “Any Member of Congress who supports their local fire departments, local schools and the hard-working women and men who serve their communities every day, even in the midst of a pandemic, should stand up in support of repealing the SALT cap.”

Kelly and Líma joined several members of Congress and union leaders at the news conference, including Representatives Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Bill Pascrell (N-NJ) who have introduced legislation to eliminate the SALT cap. Their message was simple: The SALT cap is anti-union.

“The states most affected by the SALT cap are those with the highest levels of union membership in our country,” Suozzi said.

The effort to end the SALT Cap comes as Congress is considering its budget and spending priorities. The IAFF will continue working with our allies on Capitol Hill to repeal the provision.