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PCB-Jan2017

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70 The PCB Magazine • January 2017 Now is the Time for Comprehensive Tax Reform GUEST COLUMNIST by John Hasselmann IPC GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Tax policy is among the most basic tools of any government to accomplish its objectives. From the private sector perspective, taxes are one of largest expenses of any business. But despite being such an important topic for government and business, there is wide- spread agreement that the U.S. federal tax code is a mess. Most observers agree it does not strike the right balance between ensuring fairness and simplicity, raising needed revenues, and spur- ring economic growth. Now, with the new political line-up in Washington, D.C., the prospect of sweeping tax reform is back at the center of political debate, and it's crucial that policymakers strike a better balance. It has been 30 years since there has been a comprehensive overhaul of the federal tax code. Today, the U.S. has the third-highest corporate income tax burden [1] in the world at 39%. Many nations in the Americas, Asia, and even Europe have much lighter tax burdens, putting the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage. And because the tax code is filled with special provisions to lower taxes for various favored groups, the overall tax rate must be higher to compensate for this imbalance. President-elect Donald Trump, House Speak- er Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Lead- er Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have all said they want to enact a sweeping tax reform package that cuts the overall tax burden for individu- als and businesses. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), says House Republicans are ready to move a bill in 2017. Donald Trump's campaign tax plan [2] proposed lowering the corporate income tax rate

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