Using legal theatrics to cover for fiscal recklessness
It’s common for elected state attorneys general to file lawsuits they know are weak on substance, but look good in a press release (so they hope).
This kind of stunt lawyering is on full display in an appeal the AGs of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. The four AGs, all Democrats, allege the $10,000 deduction limit for state and local taxes on federal tax returns is unconstitutional.
Here’s a snippet from the press release:
“The SALT deduction cap is nothing less than double taxation on New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Repealing the SALT cap would not only put more money into the pockets of New York families, it would deliver a much-needed boost to New York’s economy. I am proud we are taking this issue to the Supreme Court to continue to fight on behalf of New York taxpayers.”
“This unfair cap has already placed a significant financial burden on countless hardworking, middle-class families in New York, and in the years to come, it is expected to cost New York taxpayers more than $100 billion,” said Attorney General James. “We filed this lawsuit to protect millions of New Yorkers from this harmful, misguided, and blatantly political attack. New York will not be bullied into paying more than its fair share, and we will continue to fight back.”
Nothing here about the confiscatory state and local taxes residents have paid – for decades. Nothing about the profligacy of state and local governments…just anger that their practice of requiring the rest of America’s taxpayers underwrite their recklessness came to an end a few years ago.
And so far, the district and appeals courts have ruled against the states, finding the cap entirely constitutional. Will be some time before we know whether the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.