Congress lawmakers get month to save tax breaks
WASHINGTON — The Senate's chief tax writers want to scrap the entire code and start from scratch in their push for tax reform, and on Thursday they gave lawmakers a month to make a case for preserving some of the $1.3 trillion in breaks on the books.
In a letter sent to all 98 of their colleagues, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, said they would take a “blank slate” approach to the tax code that assumes the removal of thousands of popular perks, including such sacrosanct policies as the deduction for mortgage interest, the child credit, and the lower tax rate for dividends and capital gains.
“This blank slate is not, of course, the end product, nor the end of the discussion,” Baucus and Hatch wrote. “Some of the special provisions serve important objectives. Indeed, we both believe that some existing tax expenditures should be preserved in some form.”
However, the letter states, “the tax code is also littered with preferences for special interests. We plan to operate from an assumption that all special provisions are out unless there is clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.”
The announcement puts Senate tax writers on the same page as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and clears the way for substantive work to begin on the first comprehensive rewrite of the tax code in nearly three decades.
“Today's announcement by Chairman Baucus and Sen. Hatch is welcome news for Americans who deserve a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code that leads to more jobs and higher wages,” Camp said in response to the letter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Report: Major changes needed for nation’s power infrastructure
- Residents near N.C. ash dumps told not to drink well water
- Pope accepts resignation of bishop in Kansas City, Mo. who failed to report suspected child abuser
- Pope accepts resignation of U.S. bishop who failed to report abuse
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Missouri town, new mayor grapple with mass resignations
- Federal appeals court appears divided on Obama’s immigrant deportation shield
- Baltimore on edge over man’s fatal spine injury while in custody
- Minnesota Somali men foiled in plot to join terrorists in Syria
- Wis. resident dies in crash on way to birth of 8th child
- Shuster admits to ‘personal relationship’ with airline industry lobbyist