Camp's tax proposal enters the revenue-neutral zone

House Ways and Means boss backs comprensive reform -- but not hiking rates

Feb 26, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., expressed optimism on Tuesday that broad tax reform can be accomplished this year, even though Congress will be locked in fierce budget battles over the next few weeks.

Mr. Camp's confidence comes in part from House Speaker John Boehner's decision to designate a comprehensive tax reform bill as H.R. 1, reserving the first spot in the legislation numbering system for that measure. “That sends a strong signal this is going to a priority – not just for the committee, not just for me, but for this Congress,” Mr. Camp said in a meeting with reporters in the panel's Capitol Hill office.

He's promoting reform as a way to simplify the tax and generate economic growth by lowering taxes on businesses and individuals.

Big obstacles stand in the way of an overhaul of the tax code, however. Congress and the Obama administration are likely to be wrangling over the federal budget for weeks.

The first part of the $1.2 trillion sequester is scheduled to go into effect on Friday. On March 27, the government will shut down, unless Congress can agree on a new budget or extend the current one. “I'm not sure how those things are going to fit together [with tax reform] on their own,” said Mr. Camp, who hopes to get a House vote on tax reform this year.

But he stressed that his committee would proceed in what is known as “regular order.” That means that a measure will be developed through a process that includes hearings, subcommittee and full committee votes before proceeding to the House floor.

The Ways and Means panel has established 11 bipartisan working groups to delve into various aspects of tax reform, including financial services. Over the past two years, the committee has held more than 20 hearings. The most recent – on Feb. 14 on charitable deductions -- was a day-long session that featured 40 witnesses. “We're trying to build this legislation from the ground up,” Mr. Camp said.

He is seeking to lower individual and corporate tax rates to 25%. He did not indicate which tax breaks and deductions might be eliminated or trimmed to lower the rates, other than saying that “everything” is on the table. Advocates for retirement-savings incentives are worried that those tax referrals may be whacked during comprehensive reform.

Although he didn't say which tax breaks are on the chopping block, he did assert that comprehensive tax reform would not be used to generate more tax income.

That may put him at odds with President Barack Obama, who is seeking more tax revenue to be used for deficit reduction. Most Republicans have vowed that the tax-rate increases included in the New Year's Day fiscal-cliff bill are all that Mr. Obama will get.

“The comprehensive reform I'm looking at is revenue-neutral,” Mr. Camp said.

One of the areas where Mr. Camp has put out a draft tax-reform proposal involves investment taxes. He said he has received a positive reaction.

“We're getting a lot of good comments,” Mr. Camp said. “It's a complicated area. They're very appreciative of the opportunity to talk about something before it's law and to be part of the process.”

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

Albridge's Butler: Making advisers of tomorrow more effective and efficient

Gadget Girl checks out the latest tech from Albridge and how they're helping advisers stay one step ahead of the curve.

Video Spotlight

Will It Last As Long As Your Clients Do?

Sponsored by Prudential

Video Spotlight

The Catalyst

Sponsored by Pershing

Latest news & opinion

Nationwide's 401(k) record-keeping fees are excessive, lawsuit claims

Plaintiffs claim practice of charging plans a percentage of assets is unreasonable.

Wealth management firms struggle with lower fees, fewer new clients

Advisers in North America earned less from clients last year and saw a decline in average fees, according to a new report by PriceMetrix.

These investors are allowed to put $500K into a Roth IRA at once

The HEART Act permits rolling all or part of life-insurance and combat-related-fatality payouts directly into the tax-free retirement plan, but few take advantage.

Labor's Alexander Acosta and SEC's Jay Clayton tell lawmakers they will work together on fiduciary rule

In separate appearances before Senate panels, the regulators stressed the cooperation that Republican legislators and opponents of the DOL fiduciary rule are demanding.

Brian Block denies cooking the books at Schorsch REIT

Former CFO claims everything he did was 'appropriate' and 'correct.'

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print