There has been much talk about it in Washington, but little action. Still, a Nebraska Congressman believes momentum is building toward tax reform.
The House Ways and Means Committee broke into 11 working groups to study various aspects of tax reform. Congressman Adrian Smith co-chairs the Tax Reform Working Group on Financial Services along with Congressman John Larson (D-CT).
Smith says recent controversy reaffirms the need for reform.
“The problems at the IRS, that is an example of why we need to reform our tax code,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We need less human intervention in the tax code and we can do that through a simpler, more straight forward, more fair tax policy of flattening that tax, lowering the rate.”
The IRS has been embroiled in a controversy over how it has handled applications from conservative political action committees seeking non-profit status and, therefore, a tax exemption. The IRS has been accused of placing conservative groups under more scrutiny than liberal groups and delaying action on applications filed by conservative groups, especially those associated with the Tea Party.
Smith says the federal tax code needs to be broadened, which would allow Congress to cut tax rates without cutting revenue to the federal government. Smith says tax reform must be revenue neutral, meaning that the amount of revenue the federal government receives from taxes shouldn’t be reduced or increased by implementation of tax reform.
Smith foresees tax reform bringing in more money, eventually. He says reform should spur economic growth which would bring in more tax revenue naturally.
The leader of the Senate, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, has suggested that any tax reform proposal should net the federal government $1 trillion.
The congressman has encouraged Nebraskans to submit their ideas for tax reform at taxreform.gov.
The Joint Committee on Taxation submitted its report to the House Ways and Means Committee earlier.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]