Coronavirus Update: Cuomo, Murphy join forces to push for federal relief, SALT repeal

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Murphy are urging the federal government to allocate COVID-19 relief funds based on need and to repeal the tax on the state and local tax deduction (SALT).

Cuomo and Murphy argued that their states and Connecticut paid a high price, essentially ambushed by COVID much like when a hurricane causes devastation. They say the federal government should allocate relief in a way that is fair.

"When a state gets hit by a hurricane, that state gets relief," Cuomo said. "Not that every state gets relief. The places that paid the highest price for the emergency (get relief). Our state and our region paid the highest price for the emergency."

The governors also argued for "fairness" in the tax policy, urging a a repeal of the 2017 tax law that capped the SALT deduction at $10,000. Political leaders from high tax states have been opposed to the cap because their residents feel the pinch.

"(The law) was not done for any practical purpose, but completely based on politics," Murphy said. "In New Jersey alone it's been $3-billion dollars out of the pockets of our home owners."

Murphy, Cuomo and others argue the law is unconstitutional double taxation, essentially robbing high tax states and giving the money to Republican states.

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Most Republicans and some Democrats oppose a repeal because high-income taxpayers would benefit.

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) and Young Kim (R-Calif.) are among the co-sponsors of a bill to repeal in the House.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced similar legislation.

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