What to Expect with Federal Tax Reform – A Panel Discussion

What to Expect with Federal Tax Reform – A Panel Discussion

Rolf Lundberg, Former Senior Vice President, Congressional & Public Affairs at The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and JD Foster, Chief Economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – B. Wirta photo

May 11, 2017 – At the Choice Hotels Annual Conference, Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas, I was able to participate in a US Federal tax reform discussion with JD Foster, Chief Economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Rolf Lundberg, Former Senior Vice President, Congressional & Public Affairs at The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. These are their opinions – not necessarily mine.

JD Foster began by saying that our tax system fundamentally does work, however it’s overly complicated. Tax rates really matter. The US now has one the highest rates. Other countries have lower rates. This makes it more difficult to be competitive.

Other points made were:

Lower the rates broaden the base is the mantra of this tax reform.

Pass through rates are important, not just corporate rates.

Tax codes should not be influencing business decisions.

Role of 100% expensing of assets instead of long term depreciation is at core of new tax reform.

Tax reform will lower capital gains in new tax policy so prospects for 1031 exchanges deductions are good they will stay.

When will tax reform occur? The sooner the better. Congress needs to get it right because it will affect us for next decade.

We will have another recession someday, but for now we should have an acceleration in business investment.

There are a few experts on both sides of the isle in Congress who understand tax reform and the congressional process.

The 1986 tax reform act was bipartisan and comprehensive. Now tax reform will be more focused on changes in rates, expense rules and death taxes.

Tax reform should be a revenue neutral bill, but at the end of day some people will have a tax increase.