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Faso questions Cuomo's scheme to keep New York tax deductions

Mar 01, 2018 11:39 am
Casey Seiler reports for Capitol Confidential that Rep. John Faso's feud with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is back on: this week the Kinderhook-based Republican wrote to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy asking whether Cuomo’s proposal to make certain state and local tax payments eligible for charitable tax deductions is legal. Cuomo's proposal is designed to offset the increase in taxes for New Yorkers caused by the recently passed Republican tax plan. Faso voted against that plan, and has denounced it for raising taxes on New Yorkers. But the congressperson and Cuomo have been in a year-long Twitter fight, and clearly do not get along on most issues, even, like here, when they largely agree. Faso's letter asks Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter for an opinion letter which would explain if Cuomo’s proposal could draw a legal challenge. "I have had many questions from constituents as to whether the state initiative will be compliant with federal law and regulation governing charitable deductions," Faso's letter, which was released Feb. 28, says. "Would such payments or contributions meet the test for a charitable deduction since presumably the taxpayer is receiving benefits from the governmental units and school districts for the “contributions” donated?" Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi responded in an email, “This is John Faso’s M.O. — stand by while his fellow Republicans raise income and property taxes on his constituents, and then try to undermine efforts to protect New Yorkers from these vicious hikes. The people of this state aren’t stupid and will see right through this stunt.”