The two Republican House members who represent parts of the greater Capital Region say they will vote "no" on the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul.
Elise Stefanik, of Willsboro, issued the following statement Monday:
"I support comprehensive tax reform that provides relief for families and businesses in our district. I voted against the tax bill when it first came before the House because it did not provide enough relief for New Yorkers.
"While progress has been made during the conference committee, the final bill does not adequately protect the state and local tax deduction that so many in our district and across New York rely on. Due to Albany's failed leadership and inability to rein in spending, New York is one of the highest-taxed states in the country, and families here rely on this important deduction to make ends meet. Failure to maintain SALT could lead to more families leaving our region.
"I will be voting no on the final legislation and will continue to work hard to ensure that hard-working families and small businesses have their priorities represented in Congress. I thank the many constituents across the district who have contacted my offices to share their opinions on this important legislation."
About an hour later, John Faso, of Kinderhook, also issued a statement:
"From the beginning, I wanted to support a tax reform plan that would increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off. Unfortunately, this plan does not meet all of those criteria, and I will vote against the bill when it comes up for a vote.
“I remain concerned that as a result of the state’s high income and property taxes, the partial elimination of the SALT deduction effective Jan. 1, 2018, impacts New York families more severely than those in other states. These families have already made financial decisions based on this deduction, and to have it removed without any chance to prepare, is unfair.
“It's important to recognize that this bill does make positive changes in our tax code that will help American businesses of all sizes and their workers compete in the global economy. In addition, there will be many families and small businesses in the 19th district that will receive a tax cut under this legislation. However, the overall impact of changes to the SALT deduction will accelerate the trend of hard-working individuals and businesses already leaving our state — further eroding New York’s tax base.
“I am pleased that changes I advocated for were made to the medical expense deduction, higher education affordability benefits and private activity bonds in this final version in comparison to the House bill. Each of these provisions were primary concerns of mine because of their impact on families, students and local economic development.
“While there has been positive progress, I still cannot vote for the conference committee package due to my overwhelming concern with the state and local income tax deduction.”
Faso's 19th Congressional District includes the Hudson Valley, Schoharie County and most of Montgomery County. Stefanik's 21st Congressional District encompasses the North Country, from central Saratoga County and Fulton County north to the Canadian border.