Speed Reads

a modest proposal

Trump might change the GOP tax plan because his rich friends asked him to

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn suggested Friday that the White House wanted the final version of the Republican tax bill to include deductions for state income taxes — just one day after The Washington Post reported that wealthy friends of President Trump had complained to him that neither of the bills passed by Congress included those deductions.

"No one really wants tax increases here," Cohn said during an interview with Bloomberg. The House measure, which passed last month, eliminates the deduction for state and local income taxes, as does the Senate measure, which passed last week.

Instead, under the proposed bills, Americans are allowed deductions of up to $10,000 for local property taxes. The average American pays a little more than $2,000 in local property taxes, WalletHub reports, but property and income taxes vary from state to state and are generally higher in northeastern states than in other parts of the country. In New York County, for example, the average resident claims $24,898 in local and state tax deductions.

Bloomberg notes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Republican leadership have said that they would consider including a deduction of state income taxes in the final tax bill, but only up to the same $10,000 cap as local property taxes.

While Cohn suggested to Bloomberg that the White House would accept that compromise, such a deal might not be enough for Trump's rich friends. Kathy Wylde, who runs a major business advocacy group called the Partnership for New York City, told The Washington Post that she has tried to rally business leaders and executives to talk the White House into action on the income deductions. "They're killing the goose that lays the golden egg," Wylde said.