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US Taxpayers Warn Against Myopic Tax Reform Measures

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

10 July 2014

On July 8, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) led a coalition of 13 organizations in sending a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee urging them to ensure that any United States tax reform should not be prejudiced by any minimal changes to the tax code needed to pay for special projects.

The coalition, including such associations as Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute and Americans for Prosperity, pointed out that, "while the clock is running out on the legislative calendar for 2014, with the August recess fast approaching and the midterm elections around the corner, … there's still not much taxpayers are seeing out of Congress on comprehensive tax reform."

The letter urges that: "Tax reform shouldn't be a vessel for politicians to find more ways to spend taxpayer dollars, it should be done to broaden the base and save individual taxpayers money across the board." In particular, the organizations told Congress "to stay away from attempts at tax reform that would simply be done to give Washington more money to spend," such as the short-term fixes that are presently being considered to shore up the Highway Trust Fund.

They sought to "caution strongly against the urge to take action on short-term fixes aimed at individual symptoms, rather than the entirety of the tax code. We are specifically concerned about proposals that seek to make changes to our tax laws as a means to pay for projects that are totally unrelated to tax reform. Attempts like these are a step in the wrong direction. In fact, it will make it even more difficult to achieve true tax reform."

It was reiterated that, with the average corporate tax rate for OECD nations now being 25 percent, compared to a total rate (combining both federal and average state rates) in the US of 39.1 percent, "businesses of all sizes need meaningful tax reform, with simplified rules and significantly lower rates, to unleash their ability to grow and hire." They urged the Committees "to stay focused on the task of achieving comprehensive tax reform that focuses on simplicity and lower rates."

TAGS: Finance | tax | business | corporation tax | tax rates | United States | tax reform | Tax

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