Senate committee urges lawmakers to prepare for fall tax reform vote

170px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Senate.svgMembers of the Senate Finance Committee told fellow lawmakers in a Thursday letter to prepare for a tax reform vote this coming fall.

“Our tax code is bloated and outdated,” Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the committee chairman, and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the committee’s ranking member, said in the letter. “The income tax was established a century ago, in 1913. And it has been a generation since our last tax reform in 1986…We are determined to complete tax reform this Congress.”

The letter urges lawmakers to submit proposed language for a tax reform bill for the committee’s consideration by July 26.

Additionally, the letter said the committee will take a “blank slate” approach to its legislation, which would remove all tax expenditures and add in those that are deemed necessary.

Bill Cheney, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, said the letter translates to the removal of the credit union tax exemption.

“CUNA and the Leagues launched the Don’t Tax My Credit Union campaign more than a month ago because we saw signs of the “blank sheet” approach coming,” Cheney said, according to Credit Union Times. “Ultimately, success will depend on credit unions getting their members engaged with this campaign and ensuring that the voices of 96 million members are heard.”

Dan Berger, who is set to take over the National Association of Federal Credit Unions as the new CEO and president next month, urged Baucus and Hatch to protect the exemption.

“The efforts of credit unions and the large positive impact they have on the financial welfare of American consumers would not be possible without the credit union tax exemption,” Berger said, Credit Union Times reports. “Without credit unions, for-profit banks would remain unchecked and likely increase rates and fees on consumers. Additionally, many consumers would not have access to traditional financial services institutions and have no choice but to turn to high-cost predatory alternatives.”

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