Friday, February 10, 2017
Billy Long: We must reform our tax code
Reforming our tax code may be taxing and tedious but it must be done. I receive numerous complaints from my constituents and business owners demanding a fairer and simpler tax system. We need a tax code that stops raiding hardworking American taxpayer’s paychecks and ensures they are able to keep more of their own money. A unique concept in Washington, D.C.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Since then, our country has changed dramatically, but yet we continue to use an outdated tax system. That needs to change. Today, the Federal tax laws fill 70,000 pages. Families with children in college have to go through almost 100 pages of IRS instructions to figure out what tax benefits could help them pay for already high tuition rates. Requiring these hardworking individuals to go through hundreds and sometimes even thousands of pages is ridiculous. Especially when I know there is a better alternative.
It’s no wonder individuals use software or professionals to prepare their tax returns.
As a Congressman, I have continually supported bills that would reform our tax code. When I first came to office, I supported and cosponsored the Pathway to Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act. This legislation would have consolidated the individual income tax brackets into no more than two brackets, reduce the corporate rate and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax. Finally, it would have changed the “worldwide” system of taxation to “territorial.”
In 2015, I supported the House passage of the Death Tax Repeal Act. This legislation would have repealed the estate tax, which is known as the “death tax.” Individuals who plan to leave their estates to their children and grandchildren should not have to worry about the government taxing life savings or ruining their plans to improve the lives of their families. The “death tax” hits small business owners and family farms the hardest.
Action needs to be taken on tax reform and I plan to continue to support legislation that will do just that. Our job in Washington isn’t to make Missourians lives harder, it’s to make them easier. Our broken tax code does not accomplish that and needs to be changed.