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HEARING: Republican Members Discuss Need for Fairer, Flatter, Simpler Income Tax

April 13, 2016

Today, members of the Tax Policy Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), held the second in a series of hearings on how policymakers should fundamentally reform America’s tax code to create jobs, increase paychecks, and expand opportunities for the American people. At the hearing, just days before the annual tax filing deadline or “Tax Day,” Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Roger Williams (R-TX) presented their legislative proposals for reforming our income-tax system so that it is fairer, flatter, and simpler for taxpayers.

We are honored to have two of our esteemed colleagues here to testify about bills they have developed to reform our current income-tax system — reforms that fundamentally change our complex, unfair, and outdated tax code to make it more conducive to economic growth,” Chairman Boustany said. “Tax reform should minimize the burden on American taxpayers, so the billions of hours and tens of billions of dollars they spend on tax compliance today can be freed up and dedicated to creating a growing, vibrant economy.”

As Rep. Goodlatte explained, setting a “termination” date for our current tax code will hold policymakers accountable for delivering comprehensive tax reform to the American people. That’s why he introduced the Tax Code Termination Act. The legislation, which has the support of over 130 members of Congress, requires our existing tax system to sunset by the end of 2019, and instructs Congress to develop and approve a new, fair, and simple federal tax system by July 4, 2019.

“I have yet to hear an argument for maintaining our current tax code, but I hear argument after argument for why we need a new one,” Rep. Goodlatte said. Comprehensive tax reform will not come overnight, but we should not delay taking a first step. Setting a date certain to implement a new tax system by 2020 will provide a real timeline for debating and approving a new tax system for our nation.”

Rep. Williams discussed how his package of bills, collectively known as the Jumpstart America Act, represents a comprehensive plan for reforming the current income-tax system and “jumpstarting” the economy. In addition to reducing and simplifying individual and corporate tax rates, the proposal eliminates the estate tax, which can have a devastating impact on families, small businesses, and the economy. “We must begin to empower America’s greatest asset, the small business community, the last real hope to turning our economy around,” Rep. Williams said.

As Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Thomas Barthold noted, proposals that lower tax rates while broadening the tax base can help strengthen labor force participation, promote investment, and increase economic growth.

“Our efforts on tax reform require that we take a fresh look and consider all ideas and proposals,” Chairman Boustany concluded. “Ultimately, the Ways and Means Committee must weave the most pro-growth concepts and ideas into a bold plan that fundamentally and comprehensively reforms out tax system … the Subcommittee will continue to solicit and evaluate all ideas as we will build consensus for a path forward.”

For more information about today’s hearing, click here.