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September 21, 2017 4:00 PM, EDT
Republican Leaders to Unveil Tax Reform Proposals Week of Sept. 25
Overhaul Would Be First Major Reform of Code Since 1986
Kevin Brady Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

A key House committee with jurisdiction over tax policy is poised to reveal a plan the week of Sept. 25 aimed at overhauling the U.S. tax code.

A Senate panel is likely to follow up soon with its version, as well, while President Donald Trump is pushing the Republican leadership in each chamber to quickly advance the overhaul, which would mark the first major reform of the code since 1986.

Much of the business community has expressed optimism. The trucking industry is among myriad sectors clamoring for a lowering of the corporate tax rate.

“If you’re paying the highest corporate tax rate of any other mode, and we’re roughly around 29%, and the president is advocating 15%, that’s a considerable amount of money,” American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear told Transport Topics on Sept. 19.

It's not the government’s money; it’s our members’ money. It belongs to them.

Chris Spear, ATA President

The chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), has indicated he is preparing a “bold” plan with the goal of assisting small businesses, as well as corporations; “pro-growth tax reform that would create jobs, increase paychecks and strengthen our nation’s economy,” he said recently.

House Speaker Paul Ryan added he would champion a plan that would address every sector of the economy and said the current corporate tax rate of 35% must decrease to the mid-20 percentile range. Trump is advocating for a 15% percent rate for corporations.

“You can’t just do what Bush did in 2001 and 2003,” Ryan said. “You have to overhaul the system itself.”

Ryan is a member of the “Big Six” team on Capitol Hill crafting tax reform, which includes Brady, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Hatch, who has indicated his tax-writing Finance Committee is readying for a massive overhaul of tax policy, has been among the senators vocal about the need for reform. Leaders in the Senate applauded the recent efforts by Republican Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Bob Corker of Tennessee on an agreement on a budget resolution designed to allow tax cuts over a decade.

Like Republicans on Capitol Hill, Trump has called for repatriating foreign profits to domestic accounts. He has promoted reducing tax rates that would entice corporations to bring back several trillion dollars held offshore.

“We believe everyday Americans know better how to spend their own money than the federal bureaucracy, and we want to help them keep as much of that hard-earned money as we can,” Trump said. The White House has yet to reveal details of its tax plan.

Trucking executives, as represented by ATA, plan on advocating their positions and championing for passage of an overhaul this year, Spear said.

“It's not the government’s money; it’s our members’ money. It belongs to them. And that’s money they can use to invest in new equipment, safer technologies, driver-pay, driver-training. Whatever it is, but that’s their money. And it’s their decision, and it’s best spent by them to help grow companies, secure jobs, and make certain that trucking is strong for the future,” Spear said. “Tax reform is a mammoth catalyst to doing just that.”