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advocacy community education
53
What Does Tax Reform
Look Like?
Diane Lim Rogers
Chief Economist,
Concord Coalition
Is There Tax Policy?
Kevin Sullivan
Commissioner,
Connecticut Department of
Revenue Services
Tax Legislation in the
Rear View Mirror
Dean Zerbe
Former Tax Counsel,
Senate Finance Committee
for Senator Charles E. Grassley
increasing on automatic pilot, including
Medicare,
Social
Security,
and
Medicaid. These three liabilities alone
are projected to reach 18 percent of
GDP by 2050, leaving nothing for all
other governmental services and obli-
gations, including the expanding inter-
est on debt.
The Concord Coalition believes that
tax policy is the most promising area
for bipartisan action. According to
Rogers, there's lots of room to cut
spending on the tax side of the budget,
through base broadening that reduces
"tax expenditures" and raises revenue
without raising marginal tax rates.
Echoing Sullivan, Rogers pointed out
that "The challenge is not economic, it
is political."
Learn more about the Concord
Coalition at www.concordcoalition.org.
During the federal taxation day, atten-
dees also heard from DeanZerbe,JD,
LL.M.,
former tax counsel to the
Senate Finance Committee. Zerbe
shared a behind-the-scenes perspec-
tive on tax politics, discussing why
elections matter and how politics can
influence the tax code.
Addressing whether today's CPAs
would see tax reform while they are still
practicing, Zerbe said leadership from
the White House or a Republican pres-
idential candidate and a detailed plan
by the U.S. Department of the Treasury
to get the discussion going in earnest
is needed.
One of Zerbe's greatest concerns is
that the types of tax reform being dis-
cussed are aimed at lowering the tax
rates of Fortune 500 companies while
expanding the double taxation of
pass-through entities which, in a
down economy, levies a whole new
layer of tax (and accounting bills) on
small- and medium-sized businesses,
the engines of job creation.
Zerbe openly welcomes ideas on what
can be done in the tax code to encour-
age jobs and economic growth.
Contact him with your thoughts at
dean.zerbe@alliantgroup.com.
Special thanks
to conference
sponsor UPS!
"Top-notch presenters as usual!"
Conference Attendee