Senate Finance’s Hatch Seeks Public Input on Tax Reform

Comment period open until July 17; Valliere says time running out for comprehensive reform

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. (Photo: AP) Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. (Photo: AP)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch is asking the public to weigh in on how Congress should improve the U.S tax code.

Hatch, R-Utah, encouraged experts and stakeholders Friday to send their comments by July 17 to the Committee at taxreform2017@finance.senate.gov. Specifically, Hatch said he’d like to get feedback on the following areas:

  1. Providing much-needed tax relief to middle-class individuals and families through reforms to the individual income tax system;
  2. Strengthening businesses – both large and small – by lowering tax rates and broadening the relevant tax base in order to put the economy on a better growth path and create jobs;
  3. Removing impediments and disincentives for savings and investment that exist in the current tax system; and
  4. Updating our international tax system in order to make our nation more competitive in the global economy and preserve our tax base. 

As Congress and the administration work to overhaul the nation’s “broken” tax code, lawmakers are “poised to make significant steps toward comprehensive tax reform,” Hatch said. “Members from both parties have acknowledged the shortcomings of our current tax system and the need for meaningful reforms to encourage economic growth and alleviate many of the burdens imposed on hardworking taxpayers.”

But Greg Valliere, chief global strategist for Horizon Investments, noted in a recent commentary that given Congress' upcoming five-week vacation, time is running out to pass "major" tax reform. "For an administration desperate for a high-profile victory, 'Plan B' on tax reform is gaining support," Valliere said, with a bill "simply embracing tax cuts – not tax reform – [having] a chance, as long as a fight over the debt ceiling doesn't grind Washington to a halt later this summer."

It's becoming clear, he continued, "that sweeping tax reform – killing wasteful tax breaks, replacing them with tax incentives – has encountered the usual obstacle: the details. Everyone wants tax reform, but no one can agree on the particulars, at least not quickly."

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