Tax bill backed by Rep. Knight hurts thousands of his own constituents

Congressman Steve Knight

Thousands of residents may be on the hook for higher taxes, thanks to Rep. Steve Knight and the Republican tax bill.

New data shows Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) voted to increase taxes on up to 185,000 constituents in his own district when he voted for the Republican tax bill.

At issue is the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction that many constituents, and especially homeowners, use to lower their federal tax bill. In the Knight-backed tax bill, that deduction was capped at $10,000 per year.

In California’s 25th Congressional District, new IRS data obtained by SoCal Daily shows more than 185,000 constituents claimed the deduction in 2016, the most recent year when data is available. That amounts to 42 percent of all constituents who filed taxes that year.

In one area of the district, the average SALT deduction was almost $34,000.

With the deduction now capped at $10,000, some residents will be forced to pay taxes on an additional $24,000. Depending on the tax bracket, the additional taxes could amount to thousands more next year alone.

Across the entire district, the average SALT deduction was $13,621, meaning higher taxes for thousands of residents.

As the bill was moving through Congress, Knight vowed that this issue was his top priority. “I am confident [it will be fixed],” Knight said, referring to the elimination of SALT deductions, “but I’ve also said that is my No. 1 priority, so if we can’t get it fixed then we’re going to have problems.”

The problem was not fixed, and Knight enthusiastically supported the bill anyway.

Months after the bill was passed, Knight was asked if he had any regrets about supporting it. Knight said he had no regrets, and stood by his vote to raise taxes on his constituents and abandon his top priority,

Even fellow Republicans at the time warned Knight of the impact of his vote. California Republican Darrell Issa said at the time, “eliminating the state and local tax deduction would assure that almost all of the bill’s tax cuts would be distributed to other states — leaving California with the bill.”

When it came to siding with Trump and most Republicans in Congress or his own constituents, Knight sided with Trump. As he does 99 percent of the time, even if is costs his constituents thousands of dollars.