Jersey Shore Congressman Andy Kim (D - Ocean & Burlington Counties) joined us in the WOBM Newsroom to discuss a number of key issues affecting the 3rd District he represents as well as the rest of the nation.

New Jerseyans, and many in the U.S. House of Representatives, seem divided over the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act which was promoted by the Trump administration.

It limits the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted on federal taxes to $10,000.00 a year.

The tax law's rules on SALT deductions, as they are known, made a lot of people upset in high-tax states, such as New York, New Jersey and California, where residents had previously benefited from being able to deduct much more.

It also became a highly politicized issue as many people living in high-tax states (including New Jersey) tend to vote for Democrats.

"It comes down to fairness," Kim said. "When New Jersey families are only getting back 81-cents for every dollar we put into the federal government, whereas other states are getting $1.20 for every dollar that they put in, it's just not fair."

The lack of fairness for Kim comes with who benefited the most from the legislation.

"The tax law that they pushed forward had (big) benefits to the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans," Kim said. "We saw all these huge stock buybacks that these corporations were doing rather than putting that money back into higher wages for their employees or more investments into the communities. That was on the backs of New Jersey families and families in other states that have high property taxes."

He says the federal tax legislation is unfair to New Jerseyans because the state taxes are so high.

"We have way too much in terms of tax burdens already and to put this on top of that is really unfair," Kim said. "We now have a bipartisan bill we're pushing along with Congressman Chris Smith (R - NJ 4th District - Ocean, Monmouth & Mercer) and others as we are trying to restore our state and local tax deduction."

If New Jersey's state taxes weren't so astronomically high, would this measure work in the Garden State?

While Congressman Kim feels this version of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act was rushed into passage, there are some things that work well.

"We always want to find ways where we can spur our businesses," Kim said. "There's some parts of the tax law that help small businesses and some parts that are giving them less predictability in terms of their ability and plan going forward."

Previous reporting by Dan Alexander was used in this article.

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