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Committee Says Some Tax Extenders Should Go
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures held a hearing on June 8 to review the so-called tax extenders, many of which expired after 2011. Among the dozens of provisions up for consideration are the research tax credit, higher education tuition deduction, and teachers’ classroom expense deduction.
"It is my hope that the committee will move to schedule a markup of these important provisions so we can get the ball rolling on their extension sooner rather than later," Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., said in prepared remarks.
Witnesses testifying before the subcommittee focused on the methods lawmakers should use to evaluate the effectiveness of the extenders. Suggestions included holding an annual review of whether the extenders do in fact stimulate economic activities.
Donald Marron, director of the Tax Policy Center for the Urban Institute, recommended that Congress change the pay-as-you-go budget rules for the extenders. Instead of using a 10-year offset to pay for one year of tax incentive, Congress should set the length and offset at five years each, Marron said.
Alex Brill, research fellow, American Enterprise Institute, suggested that lawmakers should ask whether the intent behind a provision represented sound tax policy and whether, if that particular extender would be permanent, the policy would be effective.
"No tax policy should be intentionally temporary," Brill said. "Any tax extenders deemed appropriate should be made permanent and the rest should be allowed to expire," he added.
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