The leaders of Congress’s two main tax committee teamed up Thursday to launch a new Web site and Twitter feed, with the goal of getting input from the American public on tax reform.
“America’s Tax Code today is complex, inefficient and acting as a brake on our economy,” Baucus said in a statement. “Chairman Camp and I believe it is in need of a serious overhaul. Over the past two years we’ve held more than 50 hearings and heard from hundreds of experts on how to fix the tax code, to make it simpler and fairer for families and spark a more prosperous economy. Now it’s time to hear from the most important stakeholders—the American people. Through the Web site TaxReform.gov and Twitter all Americans will be able to weigh in and participate directly in the debate. We want to know what people think the nation’s tax system should look like and how we can make families lives easier.”
Developed in partnership with the Joint Committee on Taxation, TaxReform.gov will serve as a platform for the American public to weigh in on tax reform. Input from visitors to the web site will be valuable to the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee as they craft legislation. The site also incorporates many Twitter tools that allow the public to weigh in by following @simplertaxes.
“The Tax Code is littered with special interest provisions that Washington has put in over the last 27 years,” said Camp. “It is time to go line-by-line through the tax code and clean it up. There is no reason Americans should have to spend over 6 billion hours and over $160 billion every year just trying to comply with the tax code. Chairman Baucus and I believe in a tax code that is more effective and efficient. A simpler, fairer Tax Code will help families and it will help strengthen our economy. But Washington doesn’t have all the answers. That is why we are joining together in a non-partisan way to invite you to weigh in on this debate. We want you, the American people, to share your story and your ideas about how our tax code should work.”
The idea is based on efforts of former Ways and Means Chair Dan Rostenkowski to engage the American public in the last successful overhaul of the U.S. Tax Code in 1985. He encouraged the American public to send letters in support of tax reform in what became known as the “Write Rosty Campaign.” As a result, Rostenkowski received more than 75,000 letters and post cards from the American public in support of tax reform, helping lead to the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
Chairmen Baucus and Camp have recreated the outreach effort with a 21st century twist. Visitors to the Web site can learn about tax reform and submit ideas on how to improve the Tax Code. The site has been built around three sections: Why reform the Tax Code, what’s already underway, and share your story and ideas.
The site also provides a library of material detailing the efforts by Chairmen Baucus and Camp over the past two years as they have developed comprehensive tax reform proposals.
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