Aug 9, 2012
Passing Tax Extenders – an Olympic event on the Hill
Everyone in Washington is talking about doing tax reform next year but just how heavy a lift is that going to be? Well, if trying to get a grab bag of already passed tax provisions known as “extenders” out of the Senate Finance Committee is any indication, the answer is that an Olympic-worthy lift is in order.
Going forward, the widely accepted notion is that “reform” should bring the business and individual tax rates down by eliminating or reducing targeted tax breaks. With that goal in mind, the Senate Finance Committee spent the better part of last week –the weekend and evenings included– trying to whittle down a list of 75 very specific and targeted tax provisions with mixed results. At the end of the day, 20 of the provisions did not make the cut, but the majority stayed. As we reported the IRA Charitable Rollover made it to the “keep pile.” Electric motorcycles? In. Electric golf carts? Out. A tax break for Starkist Tuna in America? In. Wind energy? Out. You get the idea.
Lofty talk about tax reform is a lot easier than actually tackling tax reform. Last week’s exercise proves that it is anything but easy. And the items addressed in last week’s exercise are just the tip of the iceberg.
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