Questions surround Trump tax-reform plan

At the top of the list, IFB government affairs chief wonders how the plan would be paid for.

By Jim Taylor

As a long-time high-priority issue for the Illinois Farm Bureau, Mark Gebhards welcomes discussion on tax reform. However, IFB’s executive director of governmental affairs and commodities said questions remain about how that reform might come together.

For a deal to get done before the new year, Congress has a lot of work to do before the holiday recess, Gebhards said.

“How do you pay for this tax-reform proposal?” Gebhards recently asked on the RFD Radio Network®. “This is not going to come cheaply.”

White House _Credit AFBF (4)

Trump’s plan calls for three federal income tax brackets – 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent – but it’s unclear at this time which income ranges will fall into each bracket. As for the corporate tax rate, the Trump plan calls for a 15 percent reduction, from 35 percent to 20 percent.

“There is obviously some revenue loss, so how do you make that up in terms of where do you take those cuts? Where do you initiate some change?” Gebhards said. “Those are unknowns as well.” 

He speculates that some of the areas that may be targeted for cuts may not have support from IFB.

One element of Trump’s plan that IFB does support is his proposal to eliminate the Estate Tax.

The political climate will also be key heading toward the new year, and that also remains a big question.

“We have not revamped our tax structure (in 31 years), and we don’t tend to do this very often and you can see why,” Gebhards said. “The tax code has become a very complicated issue and has a lot of tentacles once you start getting in and making some adjustments.” 

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