Daily Tax Update - June 17, 2009

FINANCE COMMITTEE DELAYS HEALTH CARE REFORM MARK UP--NEW FUNDING OPTIONS SURFACE:  The Senate Finance Committee delayed marking up a health care reform bill this week and a bill may not be considered until after the July 4th recess. Finance Chairman Max Baucus said, “We will have a mark when we're ready. It's too early at this point to know when we'll be ready.” Both the House and Senate had previously set an August deadline for floor action and President Obama has stated that he wants to sign a bill by October 1.

  • Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said, “I think as a result of whatever decisions are being made in the Senate, that a lot more pressure's going to be put on us to get something done before the July recess. I have no clue as to what impact it's going to have, but I truly believe it's going to have some impact.” Rangel added: “We're still going to stay on schedule. We'll be prepared to do what we have to do.”
  • Meanwhile, several new possible revenue raisers have been discussed to help pay for a $1 trillion health care bill. The tax-writing committees are seeking approximately $600 billion in new tax revenues to fund the bill. The other $400 billion is expected to come from cuts to health care providers.
  • Rangel is considering a proposal that would deny deductions used by pharmaceutical companies for prescription drug advertising. A two-percent surtax on individuals earning more than $200,000 and households with $250,000 or more in adjusted gross income, a value-added tax on goods and services, and a 0.65 percent increase in the Medicare tax have also been floated in discussions among Committee Democrats. When asked if a value added tax was also being discussed, Rangel said, “It's been put on the table, [whatever] that means.”
  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said yesterday, “Members of our committee want--to the degree we have to raise revenue--only health-related revenue measures. We don't want to go outside the health area to raise revenue.” Meanwhile, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel has said that all revenue raisers are on the table. Rangel said, “It's hard for me to think of any [revenue] raiser that's not on the list.”

TAX BILL INTRODUCED JUNE 16TH:
S.1268: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend and expand the additional standard deduction for real property taxes for nonitemizers.
Sponsor: Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] (introduced 6/16/2009)      Cosponsors (5)

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