Baucus, Hatch Ask Senators to Pick Which Exemptions Survive

by. Heather Anderson

Senate Finance Committee leadership sent credit union trades reeling Thursday when Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sent a Dear Colleague letter to all senators, asking them to advocate for which tax exemptions should be kept by July 26.

“In order to make sure that we end up with a simpler, more efficient and fairer tax code, we believe it is important to start with a ‘blank slate’—that is, a tax code without all of the special provisions in the form of exclusions, deductions and credits and other preferences that some refer to as ‘tax expenditures,’” they said in the letter.

Both senators said they believe some existing tax expenditures should be kept but also said the tax code is “also littered with preferences for special interests.”

The two said they plan to operate from an assumption that all special provisions will be eliminated except those that can provide clear evidence that they help grow the economy, make the tax code fairer or effectively promote other important policy objectives.

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