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Ivey urges Congress to pass tax reform

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced she has joined fellow Republican governors in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urging Congress to pass tax reform legislation.

“President Trump is proposing the largest tax cut for American families and businesses in decades,” Ivey said. “The current tax structure is oppressive to families and businesses alike, and it simply sets us up for failure in today’s global economy. We’ve proven in Alabama, with the lowest unemployment rate in history, lower taxes and less government regulation produces jobs – it’s time Washington joins us in our efforts.”

The letter, signed by Ivey, urges both houses of Congress to accomplish comprehensive tax reform on behalf of all Americans.

The governor quoted President John F. Kennedy, “The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

“America needs a tax cut. Since January 2011, Republican governors have enacted $62 billion worth of tax cuts for the hard-working people of our states, according to Americans for Tax Reform,” the GOP governors wrote. “Many of these same governors inherited massive budget deficits. Today, many of those same states have budget surpluses, significant job growth and employment levels, and historic funding for priorities like education. Our reforms have been undeniably positive for the hard-working taxpayers we serve and for the bottom line of our states.”

“Our nation’s tax code, on the other hand, is outdated and in desperate need of reform,” Ivey and the governors wrote. “Due to incomprehensible regulations and untold pages of forms and instructions, nearly 90% of taxpayers need external help to simply pay their taxes. Across the country, the time and energy spent adds up to some 6 billion hours and $15 billion to $16 billion in tax compliance costs, according to the Internal Revenue Service and the National Federation of Independent Business.”

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“We need to simplify the tax code and reduce the burden on hard-working people all across the United States. Such streamlining changes, if enacted, would pay huge dividends in driving economic growth and reinvigorating our workforce. With a corporate tax rate comparable to other advanced economies, businesses would be encouraged to do business in America, bringing potentially billions in income and millions of jobs along with them. Eliminating onerous restrictions and regulations would allow businesses to afford to pay employees higher wages and reinvest in their own growth. Meanwhile, middle-class families would earn more, keep more due to a higher standard deduction, save more with less stress, and pass on more to their children without fear of a weighty death tax. We urge the two chambers to pass meaningful tax reform legislation and send it to the President’s desk. We’ve proven in our states that you can cut taxes, create jobs, and generate budget surpluses all at the same time. If it can work in our states, it can work for America,” Ivey and her fellow governors wrote.

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“Tax reform is good for families, businesses and for our country,” Ivey said. “Cutting and simplifying taxes is the right thing to do for all Americans, and it is certainly right for Alabama. Thriving small and midsize businesses are essential to spur economic growth and to create new jobs. We need a tax code that propels businesses to success rather than punishing them for their success.”

Ivey urged Congress to enact tax policies which encourage businesses to return to the United States, as well as policies which will remove burdensome regulations, resulting in businesses investing in their employees, through higher wages, and in growth to their bottom lines.

Both Houses of Congress have passed their own version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1; but there are differences between the two bills.

“Today I voted to send the Republican tax reform plan to conference in order to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill – getting us one step closer to providing significant reforms to America’s outdated tax code. This legislation is a historic opportunity to put more money into the pockets of working Alabamians and generate much needed economic growth. I urge conferees not to disregard fiscal responsibility and maintain key pro-growth provisions in the legislation that will get America’s economy moving again,” U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, said.

“I’m very pleased that the Senate has passed a tax reform bill! This is a historic opportunity to put more money back into the pockets of working Americans and grow our economy,” U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said.

“There were some differences between the House and Senate bills, so we will now go to a conference committee to work out those differences,” said Roby. “I’m optimistic we can come to an agreement and send a final bill to the President’s desk by Christmas. My priority is making sure the people I represent benefit from tax reform. For the average family in Alabama, our plan would put about $1,800 back in their pockets – not just once, but every year. It would also create as many as 12,000 full time jobs over the next ten years. That would be a huge win for the people I represent, which is why it is so important to get this done. I’ll keep you posted as we move forward.”

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