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 isn’t much time left for Congress to act on important issues facing the country. One such issue is tax reform, but not all the talk has been welcome news for taxpayers. Though leaders on Capitol Hill have had discussions as well as some substantive proposals, including one from House Ways & Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), there’s still not much taxpayers are seeing out of Congress on comprehensive tax reform. Keeping that in mind, TPA led a coalition in sending this letter to leaders on both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee urging them that any tax reform Congress decides to do should be done in a way that benefits taxpayers, as opposed to any minimal changes to the tax code (corporate or otherwise) that would be used to pay for special projects. 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. TPA was joined by American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Center for Individual Freedom, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Frontiers of Freedom, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Independent Women's Forum, Independent Women's Voice, Less Government, Log Cabin Republicans, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and Taxpayers for Common Sense in telling Congress to stay away from attempts at tax reform that would simply be done to give Washington more money to spend and we urge all taxpayers to tell their representatives in both chambers of Congress the same.
Read the full letter below:
July 8, 2014
Dear Chairmen Camp and Wyden and Ranking Members Levin and Hatch:
The undersigned groups, representing millions of taxpayers, write to express our support for efforts to modernize and reform our tax code. Our nation's outdated and broken tax code is unfair to America’s business owners – hindering their ability to invest and compete. Businesses of all sizes need meaningful tax reform, with simplified rules and significantly lower rates, to unleash their ability to grow and hire.
Congress conducted its last major overhaul of our tax code in 1986. Since then, America has stood in place while other nations have been aggressively modernizing their business tax codes and lowering their rates so that they can better compete on the international stage. The average rate for industrialized nations is now 25 percent, while the United States currently sits at 39.1 percent (combined 35 percent federal rate and average state rate). This disparity in tax rates is causing real harm to our economy and the time for action is now.
While your respective committees continue to work on comprehensive tax reform efforts, we strongly caution 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. Their passage will do nothing to help America’s job creators. In fact, it will make it even more difficult to achieve true tax reform.
Our organizations encourage you to stay focused on the task of achieving comprehensive tax reform that focuses on simplicity and lower rates, so that we realize the economic growth and job creation that will come as a result.
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment
Brent Gardner, Director of Federal Affairs, Americans for Prosperity
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Jeffrey Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom
Thomas A. Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom
Mario Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
Sabrina Schaeffer, Executive Director, Independent Women's Forum
Heather Higgins, President and CEO, Independent Women's Voice
Seton Motley, President, Less Government
Gregory T. Angelo, Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans
Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union
Andrew Moylan, Executive Director, R Street Institute
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense