Lawmakers Launch Website to Crowdsource Tax Reform

Via TaxReform.gov, the public can weigh in on the tax reform debate

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Recognizing that Washington doesn’t have all the answers, the two top lawmakers in charge of reforming the tax code teamed up Thursday to launch TaxReform.gov, a website that allows the public to weigh in on how tax reform should take shape.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.“Over the past two years we’ve held more than 50 hearings and heard from hundreds of experts on how to fix the tax code, to make it simpler and fairer for families and spark a more prosperous economy,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. (right), in a statement. ”Now it’s time to hear from the most important stakeholders—the American people.”

Through TaxReform.gov as well as Twitter, Baucus said, “all Americans will be able to weigh in and participate directly in the debate.”

The web site, developed in partnership with the Joint Committee on Taxation, also incorporates a Twitter feed, @simplertaxes.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., noted in the same statement that the tax code “is littered with special interest provisions that Washington has put in over the last 27 years. It is time to go line-by-line through the tax code and clean it up. There is no reason Americans should have to spend over 6 billion hours and over $160 billion every year just trying to comply with the tax code.”

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. (Photo: AP)Camp (right) said the two committees were “joining together in a nonpartisan way to invite you to weigh in on this debate. We want you, the American people, to share your story and your ideas about how our tax code should work.”

The website includes two sections—"Why reform the tax code?" and "What’s already underway?"—and an online form for visitors to share their stories and ideas.

The initiative takes a page from the tax overhaul in 1985. Then-House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., encouraged the American public to send letters in support of tax reform in what became known as the Write Rosty Campaign. As a result, he received more than 75,000 supportive letters and post cards, helping lead to the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

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