NC Budget and Tax Center

Why rushing major tax legislation is a bad idea

President Trump and Congressional leaders have unveiled a tax plan that both the Senate and House want to rush through the policy process so that the President can sign it into law around the holidays.

The House tax bill was just unveiled last week, on November 2, yet the House will vote on the bill next week. On the other side, the Senate unveiled its tax bill just yesterday, November 9, and plans to vote on it in less than two weeks.

Passing such a significant overhaul of the U.S. tax code on a short timeline is a bad idea.

Rushing to pass in less than one month the first significant overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years will not allow for the review and consideration of all of the major pieces included. For comparison purposes, the last major policy legislation in our country, the Affordable Care Act, took nine months to become law from the time it was first introduced.

Furthermore, given that this legislation would have wide range implications in our country starting next year, it will be important to assess these potential implications and address them ahead of enactment. Overall, the proposed tax bill is made up of more than 100 special provisions with many of them having billion dollar implications to our federal budget.

While preliminary analysis shows that the tax plan will deliver the greatest share of the tax cuts to the richest 1 percent and contribute to the country’s deficit, there are many emergent impacts that need fuller examination.

For example, just yesterday estimates from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities suggest that more than 350,000 children in North Carolina will be fully left out of the increase in the Child Tax Credit.

If our elected officials are serious about getting tax overhaul right then they need demonstrate this by ensuring there is open debate, input from key stakeholders, and time for adequate analysis.

Rushing this tax bill as it currently stands in order for the President to sign something during the holidays would be no gift to the majority of working Americans or our democratic process.

Luis A. Toledo is a Public Policy Analyst for the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center.

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