Senate Finance Committee Reexamining Tax Reform

June 9, 2014

On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, confirmed that they are still committed to overhauling the nation’s broken tax code through comprehensive reform.  In a joint statement, Wyden and Hatch announced three upcoming hearings on issue areas that are “essential to a modern, effective tax code.”  These hearings include education, ID theft, and corporate tax reform topics and are slated for June and July, although no definitive dates have been set yet.

Wyden and Hatch stated, “When it comes to tax policy, comprehensive tax reform is our ultimate objective, and we are committed to using these hearings as the building blocks to that goal.”  Chairman Wyden has been a longtime supporter of comprehensive tax reform and has already pushed forward on this goal several times during his four months as Chairman.  Most notably, he worked to pass out of his committee a major tax extender package that included 56 provisions not part of the permanent tax code.  Following this vote, he stated unequivocally that as long as he was Chairman, these provisions would not pass again without being part of a major tax reform package.

While ANA is strongly in favor of tax reform and the lowering of the corporate tax rate, we believe this effort must be done carefully and thoughtfully.  Furthermore, it must not undermine the generation of jobs and economic activity in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the proposals to amortize advertising over five or ten years, which have been put forward in both the House and Senate tax committees, seriously fail to meet these criteria.  These proposals, by burdening the effort to sell, would place a substantial drag on the economy.

ANA will continue to fight to protect the viability of advertising.  While a comprehensive reform package is unlikely to be passed this year, these new hearings are directed toward creating the foundation for the final tax reform package, and therefore need to be very carefully monitored.

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