Hatch presses colleagues to offer input on tax code reform

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) recently asked other Senators to share their proposals for reforming the tax code.

The two Senators proposed a “blank-slate” approach on Thursday as a legislative starting point for tax reform and called on Senate colleagues to provide input on how to improve the system.

“Over the past three years, the Finance Committee has been working hard on tax reform on a bipartisan basis,” Baucus and Hatch said in a letter to their colleagues. “We’ve held more than 30 hearings and heard from hundreds of experts on reforming the tax code. We’re now entering the home stretch. We need your input and partnership to get tax reform over the finish line.”

Baucus and Hatch specifically requested legislative language or detailed proposals for what tax expenditures and other provisions should be added back to a reformed code.

Senators have until July 26 to submit their proposals.

“This blank-slate is not, of course, the end of the discussion,” Baucus and Hatch said. “Indeed, we both believe that some existing tax expenditures should be preserved in some form. But the tax code is also littered with preferences for special interests.”

To help guide submissions, Hatch and Baucus had the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation analyze the relationship between tax expenditures and the current tax rates if the current level of progressivity is roughly maintained.