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Rangel's Door Open To Tax Reform Talks

by Leroy Baker,, New York

31 July 2007

Rep. Charles Rangel (D - NY) the House of Representative's chief tax writer, has said that Congress and the Bush administration should embrace opportunity for bipartisan reform of tax code and he has told Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that his "door is always open" for discussions on tax reform.

In comments made following last week's conference on business tax reform, which was convened by Paulson, Rangel, Ways and Means Committee Chairman, said: "I appreciate the contributions of the Secretary and participants in today’s conference on corporate taxation, but it is no secret that our tax code is in need of reform. What has been missing from the debate thus far are tax reform proposals endorsed by this Administration and a willingness to work across party lines to enact that reform."

"As the Committee continues its examination of the code in an effort to restore fairness and equity, I welcome the Secretary’s suggestions on reforming the alternative minimum tax (AMT); dealing with tax havens to encourage investment here in the US; addressing the rising concern over taxation of private equity and publicly trade partnerships; and eliminating the growing inequities in income groups that have a devastating impact on our economy.

"Secretary Paulson knows that if he wants to move forward on tax reform, my door is open – in fact, he doesn’t even have to knock."

Kicking off a new debate on the state of America's business taxation system, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Thursday that the corporate tax base is too narrow, and contains too many special interest tax breaks which hinder the most efficient use of capital. He suggested that now is the time for a "comprehensive look" at the whole area of business taxation.

"Now, when our economy is in a position of strength, is an opportune time to discuss the business tax system and its impact on workers, investment, and the United States' ability to compete in the world marketplace," he remarked.

Speaking at a White House press briefing on Friday, Paulson urged Congress to move on the issue of alternative minimum tax reform.

"It's very important that Congress move to fix the AMT," he told reporters. "They've done it every year for the last six years. This is the longest we've gone, and we need to fix that situation so there are not 21 million Americans paying an alternative minimum tax. That would surprise people. That's an unintended tax. And so that's something that needs to be patched or fixed."

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