House, Senate Take Different Paths to Tax Reform
Reforming the nation’s complicated tax code is on the front burner in the Congress, but the two chambers have different plans for tackling the issue.
While the House Ways and Means Committee has broken into working groups to look at different aspects of tax reform, the Senate Finance Committee is still planning on working as a whole to reach a consensus. At the same time, the Senate Budget Committee is considering whether the initiative could be fast-tracked by incorporating tax reform into a larger Senate budget resolution, The Hill reported last week.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) has already met individually with committee members, and Democratic and Republican staff are working together to develop options for overhauling the tax code that are acceptable to both sides of the aisle.
On the other side of the Capitol, the House Ways and Means Committee has announced a new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for stakeholders, advocacy groups, and the public to use to share information, facts, and relevant data with the 11 working groups assigned to study tax reform. Public comments will be accepted through April 15.
The working groups, announced earlier this month by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), are responsible for reviewing current law in their designated area and then compiling feedback from various stakeholders. These groups will turn over their findings to the Joint Committee on Taxation, which will then prepare a report for the full Ways and Means Committee on May 6.
ASAE is working to provide information to the working group assigned to look at the tax-exempt sector. That group is chaired by Rep. David Reichert (R-WA); the vice chair is Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Earlier this week, ASAE sent out a message to its grassroots network urging associations with contacts in Ways and Means to speak up on tax reform and the potential implications for tax-exempt organizations.