Commissioners Weigh In on Tax Reform

By Bill O’Neil

The debate over tax reform is about to fire up in Washington–and already, Bexar County Commissioners have taken something of a stand.

Commissioners have signed off on a resolution opposing any effort to reduce or eliminate the federal and and local tax deduction.

The deduction allows people to claim sales, state income and property taxes on their federal returns.

“Many of our citizens can claim a deduction for sales taxes paid in this state” County Manager David Smith told the Court ahead of Tuesday’s vote, adding “There was a provision made some years ago to states that don’t levy an income tax to try to get them on a more equal footing.”

Smith said new limits or a total elimination of the SALT could have a devastating effect.

“If this is the first step, or a move to remove the tax exemptability of the interest paid on local government bonds–then that would have a significant impact on local government’s ability to finance projects” Smith said in detailing the potential effect.

“It would raise our effective interest rate that our local taxpayers would have to pay for local and municipal bonds” Smith said.

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