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Chairman Buchanan Opening Statement at Hearing on “Post Tax Reform Evaluation of Recently Expired Tax Provisions”

March 14, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) today delivered the following opening statement at a hearing entitled “Post Tax Reform Evaluation of Recently Expired Tax Provisions.”

Click here to watch the hearing.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Last year Congress enacted the most comprehensive and sweeping rewrite of our tax laws in over three decades.  

“With our modern, pro-growth tax code now in place, we need to turn our focus to maintaining it and making further refinements and enhancements.  We don’t want to wait another 30 years for the next tax reform.  Instead, our ongoing focus will be on continuing to make improvements to our tax code to promote growth and to provide fairness and simplicity for all taxpayers.

“Today we take an important step in that process by beginning an evaluation of the set of provisions which have been renewed so frequently that they are most often called ‘tax extenders.’ 

“Contrary to our focus in tax reform on providing broad tax benefits for all taxpayers like rate reduction and full expensing, many of these expired provisions are targeted very narrowly to encourage specific activities or industries. 

“Following our historic tax reform, it should not be business as usual with respect to the tax extenders.  Now is the time to examine each of these provisions one-by-one to determine whether and how they fit into the new tax code.

“That means taking a hard look at whether each provision provides value to American taxpayers.  For each provision, we will ask:  what role does this provision play in the new tax code?  If it is no longer needed because of the reforms that have been enacted, the provision should be eliminated.  If the provision continues to play an important role and enhances the new pro-growth tax reform, we should consider making it permanent.  And in that case, we will ask those who benefit from the provision to consider what other tax benefits they would forego in favor of having this provision made a permanent part of the tax code.

“To that end, we opened the doors of the Subcommittee on Tax Policy to any stakeholder or group interested in testifying on the provisions that were in effect through 2017 and are now expired.  

“Over 20 individuals and groups took us up on the offer, and we now look forward to hearing four panels of witnesses testifying about these provisions and their role in the new tax code in order to help us answer the key questions I have laid out.

“Without further ado, let’s get to it.”