Now is time for U.S. tax code reform, House subcommittee chair Roskam says
Fresh from a tax tour through Chicago suburbs, the Congressman from Illinois' 6th District who has been newly named to an important House subcommittee says the time is now for the overhaul of the nation's tax code.
After more than three decades, the nation is past ready for a tax code overhaul, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), told the Lake County Gazette.
"Our tax code hasn’t had a major upgrade since the Bears won the Super Bowl," the Wheaton resident said. "I’m convinced 2017 presents us with a once-in-a- generation opportunity to fundamentally transform the tax regime and replace it with a system based on growth, simplicity, and service."
Confirmation about the complexity of the nation's tax code was the main take-away during his tax tour through the suburbs west and northwest of Chicago, Roskam said.
"One of the most profound lessons I took from the day’s events was the breadth and complexity of the tax code," he said. "It affects each and every one of us. I heard from Uber drivers who just want to spend less time filing tax returns and more time behind the wheel earning money. I heard from nonprofit leaders who want to make sure the tax code doesn’t encourage victims of domestic violence to stay in dangerous situations. I heard from restaurateurs who want to tap into their 401(k) savings accounts to invest in their businesses."
Roskam announced the tax tour about a month after he was named chair of an important House subcommittee in the waning days of the Barack Obama administration. Roskam is expected to play a leading role in the nation's first major tax law overhaul in more than three decades from his new position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee.
Roskam was named subcommittee chairman in January, before President Donald Trump's inauguration.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix our broken tax code and enhance American competitiveness for generations to come," Roskam said in a statement. "I’m honored to hold this important gavel and look forward to putting it to good use shepherding tax reform across the finish line.”
Rep. Roskam was previously on the House Oversight Subcommittee where he supported Internal Revenue Service accountability and an overhaul of the IRS' troubled civil asset forfeiture program. He has criticized the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule and recently applauded the American Made Coalition's support of a GOP plan to tax imported goods and exempt exports.
The tax tour kicked off with a speech before the Heritage Foundation, broadcast by C-SPAN, during which he announced his intentions to lead the overhaul of the nation’s tax code during the 115th Congress. Roskam said during the speech that he supports the formation of a revenue-neutral, pro-growth, simplified tax code.
"We've all stipulated that we want to enhance the manufacturing base in this country," Roskam said during the speech. "We've all recognized that we need this to be revenue neutral. Over the course of the past six years, with the budget that the House has passed, we have publically debated and litigated and persuaded the country that debt is a serious issue. And $20 trillion of debt is a serious issue. We've tried to come at this in a fresh way by shedding ourselves from the static scoring that defies logic but, instead, have said, 'Let's look at this on a dynamic basis' to make sure we get a real world evaluation. And it's our burden to make sure that is a real world evaluation and it's not just pixie dust that's thrown out there."
During stops on the tax tour through suburbs west and northwest of Chicago, Roskam met with people from across the complicated spectrum of the current U.S. tax code. These included small business owners, independent contractors, nonprofit leaders, ride-share drivers, restaurant franchisees, and certified public accountants.
"People from all walks of life shared their stories about how the current system is helping or hurting," Roskam told the Lake County Gazette. "These stories will help us craft a newer and better tax code to jumpstart the American economy."