Gov. Cuomo urges President Trump to rethink tax changes

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the White House on Tuesday to urge President Donald Trump to rethink a provision in the 2017 tax overhaul that Cuomo says is prompting a sharp decline in state revenues.

The Democratic governor met with the Republican president to discuss the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes - known as SALT.

Cuomo said the cap is prompting wealthy residents to flee New York and contributing to a recent drop of more than $2 billion in tax receipts.

Trump has praised the tax changes but said recently he has heard it's causing problems for some New Yorkers. Residents in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California could see substantial increases in their federal tax bills this year because of the deduction cap.

Democratic control of the U.S. House increases the likelihood that the cap could be repealed, Cuomo said. After returning to New York following the meeting, Cuomo said Trump "suggested he was open to a change."

"Because he understands: You hurt New York, you hurt California, you're hurting the economic engines of this nation," Cuomo said on WCBS Newsradio 880.

The White House said the meeting demonstrated Trump's willingness to meet regularly with the nation's governors.

"President Trump talked about the positive impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the American economy, and the president listened to the governor's concerns regarding SALT," said Judd Deere, a deputy press secretary at the White House.

Deere said Trump also discussed economic growth opportunities in New York, saying the state could help lower energy prices throughout the Northeast by allowing hydraulic fracturing and the development of gas pipelines.

Under Cuomo's leadership, New York banned horizontal drilling and fracking statewide in 2015.

Prospects for new tax legislation that would expand or remove the $10,000 cap are weak, given the Republican majority in the Senate and concern over the potential for increasing the deficit without corresponding new revenue sources.

Michael Zona, a spokesman for Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, said the committee won't be revisiting the SALT deduction changes under Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley's leadership.

"It's ironic that the same Democrats who criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for supposedly benefiting only the wealthy are now advocating for a change to the law that would primarily benefit the wealthy," Zona said.

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