Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) sent a 3-page, detailed letter to Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and other members of the conference committee on tax reform, urging them to include several key provisions in the final legislative text of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:
“Our overall goal is to greatly reduce the tax burden, simplify the tax code, broaden the tax base, and grow the economy for all Americans. The conference committee is working diligently to merge both the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. I’m confident that they’ll reach a combined version that provides for the concerns of South Louisiana and results in tremendous economic growth.”
The letter highlights the following provisions for consideration by the conference committee:
- Lower the Corporate Tax Rate Effective Tax Year 2018
Louisiana greatly benefits from the growing U.S. chemical, oil, and liquid natural gas industries, but today’s corporate tax rate often limits the positive local impact of these industries. To maximize economic growth, it is critical that we ensure the immediate implementation of tax reforms, including the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 20%.
- Full Repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax
Initially established to ensure Americans and businesses were paying their fair share, the AMT has a history of disproportionately affecting upper-middle-class Americans and honest businesses.
- Full Repeal of the Death Tax
The sunset of the estate tax will improve the lives of thousands of Americans trying to build a better life for their children and grandchildren. Louisianans today are faced with double, or even triple, taxation on family assets or family-owned farms and businesses when passing down their life’s work to the next generation.
- Preservation of Graduate Tuition Waivers as Non-Taxable Income
My district includes two major universities: the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and McNeese State University. The faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and many graduate students from my district have reached out to share their serious concerns that the treatment of these waivers as taxable income could greatly affect students’ ability to pursue advanced degrees.
- Preservation of the Historic Tax Credit
The Historic Tax Credit provides important assistance to cities and towns in Louisiana working to preserve historic buildings, revitalize economic centers, and create good-paying jobs. These investments return more than $1.20 for every dollar credited, and in Louisiana, these credits have allowed for the redevelopment of main street businesses and residential and low-income housing.
- Reduction of the Federal Excise Tax for Craft Distillers
In my district, small, locally-owned distilleries that use U.S. sugar carry a significantly higher tax burden than large, international corporations. A reduction in FET will cost little to the government but will produce immediate job and investment results for surrounding communities.
- Preservation of Private-Activity Bonds Tax-Exempt Status
Private-activity bonds are a critical tool for tax-exempt organizations to raise capital and invest in updated facilities. Hospitals and airports in Louisiana rely on tax-exempt private-activity bonds to provide necessary healthcare and transportation services to rural communities.