Senators Baucus and Hatch Call for Input on Tax Reform

Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) of the Senate Finance Committee have released a “Dear Colleague” letter, asking for proposals for tax reform. Their letter states that they will start with a “blank slate,” and so-called “special provisions” will be assumed eliminated, unless it is shown that those provisions: “1) help grow the economy, 2) make the tax code fairer, or 3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.” They ask for legislative language describing expenditures that meet these tests, as well as other provisions that should be added or repealed in an ultimate tax reform bill.

Senators Baucus and Hatch make clear in their letter that every expenditure added back to their “blank slate” will reduce the amount by which corporate and individual income tax rates could ultimately be lowered. All proposals are due by July 26, 2013, and they state that they will give extra attention to any proposals that are bipartisan in nature.

This could be the beginning of a very serious eventual threat to the deductibility of advertising expenditures. We will be monitoring this situation carefully over the coming weeks. In addition, we will be holding grassroots meetings with a number of House and Senate members through our coalitions in the coming weeks. We will need your help to preserve the tax deductibility of advertising.