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Reps. Nadler, Lowey and Israel Call for Tax Equity for Cities with High Cost of Living

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, on the nation's annual tax day, New York Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Nita Lowey and Steve Israel announced the re-introduction of the Tax Equity Act, a forward-thinking piece of tax legislation designed to adjust federal tax brackets to reflect the actual cost of living in major metropolitan areas. The lawmakers represent districts which, respectively, span New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island, and are home to constituents who both pay higher taxes and contend with higher basic living costs than most Americans. In areas where living costs are higher than the national average, this bill would require the IRS to adapt tax brackets accordingly. It would not affect the taxes of those with living costs below the national average.

"It is common knowledge that a dollar in New York buys you less than a dollar elsewhere," said Nadler. "The Tax Equity Act is a practical approach to making tax burdens more fair, based on the actual local costs of living in New York, Houston, Miami, or wherever. The goal is simply to ensure that hard-working New Yorkers and others -- the vast majority of whom are not wealthy -- are treated fairly by the income tax system."

"When it comes to the tax code, one size just doesn't fit all middle-class families," said Lowey. "Residents of the New York metropolitan area pay more for housing, food, and utilities, not to mention some of the highest property taxes in the country. Making ends meet is difficult in our region even for those with good jobs. It is only fair for the tax code to reflect that reality, and the Tax Equity Act is a good step in that direction."

"New Yorkers pay some of the highest taxes in the country while also paying some of the highest housing, food and gas costs. A dollar just doesn't go as far in Huntington as it does in Huntsville. Middle-class and working families in New York are taxed as if they were rich, and that's often not the case," said Israel. "The Tax Equity Act is a commonsense bill that makes our taxes reflect our reality. I'm proud to join Congressman Nadler and Congresswoman Lowey in reintroducing this legislation."

Many residents of the nation's most expensive areas are taxed at the same rate as the rest of the country, yet must spend a greater portion of their incomes on basic necessities such as food and housing. This results in an unfair burden on New Yorkers and residents of other expensive metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Washington and others. The Tax Equity Act of 2013 would ensure that this burden is eliminated and would require people to only pay their fair share of taxes.

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