The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff
Jan Kinney, Tax Legislative Coordinator at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, a Washington law firm with a significant tax practice, puts together a very handy daily tax update. When Congress is in session, it includes lists of newly introduced tax legislation. Here’s the list for April 22.
H.R.2022 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for tax preferred savings accounts for individuals under age 26, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Murtha, John P. [PA-12] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (6)
H.R.2023 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reform the estate and gift tax.
Sponsor: Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (None)
H.R.2024 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit against income tax to facilitate the accelerated development and deployment of advanced safety systems for commercial motor vehicles.
Sponsor: Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (11)
H.R.2037 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an exception to the reduction of renewable energy credit for certain authority under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (1)
H.R.2045 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for expenses paid for household and dependent care services necessary for gainful employment and to increase, and make refundable, the credit for such expenses.
Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (2)
S.857 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a $1,000 refundable credit for individuals who are bona fide volunteer members of volunteer firefighting and emergency medical service organizations.
Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (4)
S.860 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a Federal income tax exclusion for assistance provided to participants in State student loan programs for certain health professionals.
Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (6)
S.864 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Dorgan, Byron L. [ND] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (10)
S.870 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the credit for renewable electricity production to include electricity produced from biomass for on-site use and to modify the credit period for certain facilities producing electricity from open-loop biomass.
Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 4/22/2009) Cosponsors (2)
Some of these provisions might have merit as tax policy, but the really noteworthy feature is that there are a lot of them, almost all would cost tax revenues, and some would take the tax system into brand new areas. (Should the IRS run a cash grant program for volunteer firefighters and emergency medical workers? Who will certify the bona fides for eligible recipients? And is it still “volunteer” if you’re getting $1,000 from the feds to do it?)
Most, if not all, of these proposals are going nowhere. Senator Schumer will probably get an award from the Association of Volunteer Firefighters for his support and that will be the end of it. But wouldn’t it be great if members of congress applied as much creativity to making the tax system simpler, fairer, and capable of financing the government as they spend on finding new ways to undermine the tax base?
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Posts and comments are solely the opinion of the author and not that of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute, or Brookings Institution.