Resolution calling for the reinstatement of State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions

Petitioner: Isaac Silberberg, TMM14

Special Town Meeting, November 2018

While campaigning for the override passed by the voters this past spring, one thing I consistently heard from proponents and opponents alike was concern that this override would have a larger impact on people's financial bottom lines than previous overrides due to federal tax legislation passed in December of 2017. This legislation limited the ability to deduct state and local taxes (SALT) when preparing their taxes for filing with the federal government at $10,000 per year. They asked me if there would be a way to lessen the impact of the override by bringing back the SALT deductions.

Researching the topic and speaking with staff of legislative leadership and the Attorney General's office led me to the conclusion that state action would be required, leading to the submission of this warrant article. On its own, this warrant article is just a resolution asking the state legislature to examine this situation and see if a possible solution exists.

Why might you care?

* As more children join Brookline's public schools, funding adequate educational programs is the responsible thing to do. It would be nice if we could lessen the financial pain caused when communities choose to invest in themselves, as existed prior to 2018.
* Overrides have serious implications for many residents, particularly those living on fixed incomes. We should not ignore the plight of those who wish to age in community, and are trying to make do with a fixed budget.
* We can better align incentives when it comes to future ballot questions in Brookline by not pitting those who itemize deductions in opposition to those who do not.

What is this not?

* Town or state dollars being used for tax relief.
* Any particular mechanism. While there are a variety of programs across the country aimed at solving this problem, this resolution does not recommend a particular one, believing the legislature is best-equipped to study this issue and move forward appropriately.
* A proposal just for the wealthy. According to the US Census Bureau, Brookline has a median household income over $100,000, and a median property value over $750,000 (which results in just over $10,000 in state and local taxes)

Official Town Meeting Vote Select Board Advisory Board

No Action

Favorable Action

No Action




Final Result:

No Action

Community Organization Recommendations
PAX Green Caucus

Favorable Action

Official Text of the Article

Resolution calling for the General Court of Massachusetts to reinstate the effect of State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions.

WHEREAS, Brookline relies on local taxation to provide town services and educational opportunities to its residents,

WHEREAS, federal tax reform legislation signed into law in December 2017 placed a cap on total state and local tax deductions which an individual may claim,

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts levies state taxes to pay for crucial initiatives and programs,

WHEREAS, states across the country are considering, and at least one state has enacted legislation to ease the burden such a cap creates on taxpayers,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Brookline Town Meeting calls on the General Court of Massachusetts to consider legislation which enables the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as its cities and towns, to mitigate the effect on taxpayers of federal limits state and local tax deductions,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town Clerk shall submit a copy of this resolution to our representatives and representatives-elect in the General Court of Massachusetts upon passage.…