National News

Rallying Support for the GOP Tax Plan

Posted December 18, 2017 8:28 p.m. EST

Like most Democrats (and a few Republicans) in California, Gov. Jerry Brown views the Republican tax plan heading for a final vote in Congress this week as damaging to the state and its residents. But Brown said he was not surprised that one of the architects of the effort was a Californian — Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield.

“He’s the majority leader — that’s the role he has accepted,” Brown said in an interview. “This is not in California’s interest. But it’s what good Republicans believe they were supposed to do.”

The bill would put a $10,000-a-year cap on deductions for state and property taxes, a provision that will particularly hit high-tax states like California and New York. It also caps the deduction for mortgage interest at $750,000, a provision that would hit states with high housing costs — like, again, California and New York.

McCarthy has been responsible for rounding up support for the bill and has aggressively lobbied for support from the other 13 California Republicans. The majority leader, in a statement over the weekend, disputed Brown’s criticisms, saying this bill was central to Republican efforts to cut federal taxes.

“But in California, taxes continue to go up as we saw with the most recent gas tax,” McCarthy said, referring to a gas tax increase pushed through by Democrats. “This hurts working Californians — especially in the Central Valley.”

“Just as Congress is acting to lower taxes and increase wages to help American families get ahead, I hope to work with the governor to reduce the tax burden that Sacramento has imposed on us in the state,” he said.

Brown said the bill would hurt residents in California while helping those in places that don’t have high state or local taxes — which happen to be Republican states, the governor noted.

“You’re taking money from Californians and giving it to people elsewhere,” he said. “It’s unfair and unwise because California is an engine of American growth.”