ROSELAND – Mikie Sherrill’s tour of town businesses included two food shops so a question about SALT seemed appropriate.
This, of course, was the tax variety. Ever since the tax reform act of 2017, residents have been able to deduct only $10,000 of their state and local taxes on their federal tax form.
This is bad news in New Jersey where many homeowners pay more than $10,000 in property taxes alone. Previously, there was no cap on deducting state and local taxes.
This is one of those rare instances where there is bipartisan agreement. Many New Jersey Republicans also support doing away with the cap and returning to the pre-2017 days.
The discouraging news recently is that the White House has sent signals that it’s not all that enthused about lifting the cap. There is even push back from some groups on the left on the belief eliminating the cap would benefit primarily high-income residents.
Sherrill is still optimistic.
“I don’t see a path through the House without (fixing) SALT,” she said as she walked this afternoon along Eagle Rock Avenue, the town’s main drag.
The thinking has been to include a SALT repeal into legislation the president really wants – like the $2,3 trillion infrastructure plan.
Sherrill noted that the House is going to write the bill and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi agrees with eliminating the cap.
The congresswoman also said that she and the rest of the state’s delegation are “committed” to getting the cap eliminated.
The official purpose of her visit today was to see how businesses are coping with the pandemic.
Roseland is very much a “battleground” town. Last fall, Sherrill won handily in Essex County, but she lost Roseland by 15 votes to Republican Rosemary Becchi. Donald Trump won in Roseland by 64 votes. Hard to get much closer than that.
Yet, Mayor James Spango is a Democrat, as is a majority of the governing body. Spango was on the tour.
Sherrill learned that the Rainbow Child Care Center and Preschool still does not allow visitors, not even parents. A mother of four, Sherrill sympathized with parents who have toddlers today.
A short walk down the block brought Sherrill into a boutique and then to two food establishments.
At Marra’s Italian Specialties, owner Anthony Marra told the visitors that last spring and summer were “rough,” but things have improved. The mayor said Marra has done a good job with outside dining and that even during the bad days of the pandemic, there was a festive atmosphere on the streets of Roseland.
Spango said he thinks the pandemic has prompted people to “come together” and to get to know each other personally.
After Sherrill’s party moved on, Marra admitted he’s not a political person and that he knew little about the congresswoman.
The next stop was across the street at Fairchild’s Marketplace, where owner Chris Durko was a bit more encouraging.
While not a political junkie either, Durko said of Sherrill, “I know she’s pushing forward, helping us out.”