Weekly Column: Tax Policy That Will Fuel A Healthier Idaho Economy
Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
I am honored to continue to serve Idahoans as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in the 118th Congress. The Finance Committee has the largest jurisdiction of any congressional committee, overseeing all tax policy and giving Idaho a pivotal role in affecting policy shaping our nation’s economy. As this Congress gets underway, the following are my tax policy priorities to fuel a healthy economy.
Promoting Idahoans’ Access to High-Paying Careers: With American workers and businesses continuing to face crippling inflation and supply-chain challenges, our tax system must promote careers, manufacturing and higher wages for hardworking families. I remain committed to preserving and building on Republicans’ pro-growth tax policies to create a competitive environment for U.S. businesses and ensure Americans have access to high-paying careers.
Preserving Pro-Growth Tax Reforms: In 2017, Congress enacted comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform for the first time in more than 30 years. After two years of Democratic control, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) remains intact, and with good reason. TCJA led to one of the strongest economies in generations: unemployment dropped to a 50-year low, economic gains flowed to all demographic groups and income levels, and American businesses reported record investment in research and development. Lowering the corporate tax rate while significantly broadening the base resulted in record high corporate tax revenues.
Holding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Accountable:Finance Committee Republicans will be exercising strong accountability of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS. Partisan legislation enacted in 2022 gave the IRS an unprecedented stream of multi-year supplemental funding, totaling almost $80 billion. Given its taxpayer-focused mission, the IRS must wisely steward all funding it receives and ensure taxpayers continually see vast improvements in customer service--areas the IRS has unfortunately underperformed in over the last three-plus years, despite receiving billions of additional funding during the period. Finance Committee Republicans have introduced a bill to give Congress a direct say in how these new IRS funds are used, providing real accountability to taxpayers.
Protecting Hardworking Taxpayers: The IRS has a long and troubling history of overly-expansive, poorly-targeted and heavy-handed enforcement. New funding should not be a springboard to new unneeded (and unwanted) taxpayer burdens. With the bulk of new IRS funding earmarked for enforcement, more audits—at every income level—are sure to follow. I reintroduced legislation to prevent the IRS from using its funding windfall to increase audits on hardworking families. I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting this important bill.
Pressing for Meaningful and Measurable Solutions: Taxpayers and tax practitioners continue to await crucial year-end guidance regarding scores of complex tax law changes. While some have gotten surprising reprieves, such as those who would have been subject to increased third-party settlement network reporting, others simply do not have the guidance they need, such as those subject to the so-called “book” minimum tax or those seeking energy tax benefits. I am pressing the IRS and Treasury Department to speed up the delivery of these rules, while taking careful consideration of the comments they are receiving, including from my colleagues and me.
With a challenging last two years mired by trillions of dollars in new spending and programs, strong accountability of federal agencies within the Committee’s jurisdiction will be key. Hardworking Idaho taxpayers deserve a responsive, transparent and accountable federal government. I am listening carefully to Idahoans as I work to deliver meaningful tax policy results for the American people that will drive a healthier economy.