WASHINGTON — Republicans aren't usually big on raising taxes, but they are really eager to eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

Why? A look at the states that benefit the most from the tax break helps explain it — they are all Democratic strongholds.

New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California top the list of states that benefit the most. Not a single Republican-leaning state ranks in the top 10.

Proposals by House GOP leaders and President Donald Trump would repeal the tax break as part of their package to overhaul the U.S. tax code. They are getting a lot of pushback from Republican lawmakers in Democratic-controlled states.

The standoff illustrates how hard it is for Congress to eliminate any popular tax break.

Back in April, Jon Whiten, vice president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, said eliminating the deductions would result in an average net tax hike of about $3,500 a year for 33 percent of New Jersey taxpayers.

Whiten said the existing deduction is fair because New Jersey is one of the states that pay more in federal taxes, effectively subsidizing other states.

Of course, not all Republicans support getting rid of this deduction, especially if their states are the ones benefiting from it. U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. 7th District, said he would oppose any elimination of the deduction.

Last year, property taxes in New Jersey increased by an average of 2.54 percent, according to a New Jersey 101.5 analysis.

See 2016's property tax change in every town

Green = Average tax cut | Yellow = Zero to 2% increase | Red = More than 2% increase

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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