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Small Business Tax Reform Proposals Expected

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March 11, 2013

The Republican leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee is expected to release a discussion draft of its tax reform proposals for small businesses on Tuesday.

Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has already unveiled proposals for corporate tax reform and tax reforms for investors. The discussion draft for small business tax reforms was expected to be released last week, but was postponed due to a snow storm.

Meanwhile, lobbying activity over tax reform has been heating up steadily this year. The Washington Post reported Saturday that lobbyists for a wide variety of business groups, ranging from cattle ranchers to Broadway theater producers to roofing contractors to the oil and gas industry, have been making the rounds on Capitol Hill as Congress gears up for a possible overhaul of the Tax Code. The steady drumbeat of demand for tax reform has been gaining momentum throughout the Obama administration.

The last-minute fiscal cliff deal that was struck on New Year’s may have settled some areas of the Tax Code, such as the alternative minimum tax, with “permanent” fixes, but nothing is ever really permanent about the law as far as lobbyists are concerned. The landmark 1986 tax reform is being cited as a hopeful model for whatever tax reform eventually emerges out of the morass of Washington inaction today.

But in the meantime, the lobbyists are ready to dole out campaign contributions, and lawmakers and their staff members are ready to at least listen to them. But the onslaught of lobbying activity back during the days of the Reagan administration and Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., eventually led to some major tax reforms, if only to get the lobbyists out of the building. As the Post pointed out, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was eventually nicknamed the Lobbying Relief Act of 1986.

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