To The Daily Sun,
Congress is actively considering action on taxes. In the next two weeks we could see a vote on an impactful tax bill. The tax media is reporting that Congress is working on a $700 million end-of-year tax package. House and Senate negotiators are working on a "tax extenders" package. Among the things included is making the research credit permanent and delaying the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac" tax on high-cost health care plans for two years.
"Tax Extenders" are carve-outs in the tax code that give special treatment to certain activities. They are usually only authorized for one year and must be "extended." That one-year, short-term policymaking means that there is a massive annual lobbying scramble for reauthorization from almost every corner of Washington.
Here's a very partial list of the pork:
— The Research and Development (R&D) credit encourages business innovation ... well not so much. It actually provides a tax incentive to allow government to influence business behavior. It aids in governmental picking of winners and losers.
— The production tax credit (wind energy) and the solar tax credit that were enacted to subsidize economically non-viable alternative energy.
— "Bonus depreciation" for business capital expenditures is an accelerated depreciation.
— There is a $250 deduction for teachers who spend money out of pocket for classroom materials.
— There are low income and "new markets" tax credits to encourage development of affordable housing in underserved areas.
And many, many, many more.
For more detailed information visit: http://dev.tax.org/www/features.nsf/Articles/EE6EBB3B7A1CB63585257F0800607838?OpenDocument
Wouldn't you think Congress could actually think about reforming the tax code instead of waiting until the end of the December then ramming through some mixture of pork and bad policy as an emergency end of year boondoggle? Doesn't the nation deserve better job performance?
The tentative deal now under consideration is being developed by congressional leaders and the White House. The extenders are likely to be attached to the omnibus budget legislation expected to pass Congress by Dec. 11. This is the worst kind of intentional policy and poorly controlled pork. We got into the fiscal mess we are in by just this exact kind of business-as-usual decision making. It is time to reach out to our legislators and let them know what you think about the fruits of their labor. Please, do so before they do it to us again.
Senator Kelly Ayotte: 202-224-3324
Senator Jeanne Shaheen: 202-224-2841
Congressman Frank Guinta: 202-225-5456
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