Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters about plans to pass President Joe Biden's domestic agenda as the House meets to debate the "Build Back Better" Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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We have heard a lot about the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) in recent months but one issue that has not gained much attention is the effort to increase the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction. This is a mechanism where people can deduct state and local taxes that they pay from their federal taxable income. Currently, individuals can deduct up to $10,000, and Congress may increase that number.

As the Maine Center for Economic Policy pointed out in a recent blog post, much of the benefit from the SALT tax would go to the top 1 percent in Maine — people earning over $560,000 a year. This is why Rep. Jared Golden opposes efforts to increase the SALT deduction in the reconciliation package. While I strongly support the BBBA because I think that it would benefit the people in Maine, I am glad that Golden is standing up to try to make sure that tax breaks benefit people who really need them.

Golden has not lost sight of the fact that the decrease in federal tax revenues could put at risk federal programs that benefit Maine people. Although it is difficult to predict at this time exactly which programs could be affected, it is likely that far more people in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District will be harmed by a program cut than will benefit from the SALT deduction.

I am confident that Congress can find a way to compromise on this issue and pass the reconciliation package to deliver much needed help.

Rep. Barbara Cardone