Daily Tax Update - April 27, 2011: Senate Finance Tax Reform Hearing to Evaluate Fairness of Federal Tax System

THE DAILY TAX UPDATE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON A PERIODIC BASIS UNTIL CONGRESS RETURNS FROM ITS SPRING RECESS ON MAY 2ND.

BAUCUS TO EVALUATE FAIRNESS OF FEDERAL TAX SYSTEM AT TAX REFORM HEARING:  On May 3, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled "Is the Distribution of Tax Burdens and Benefits Equitable?"  Senate Finance Chairman Baucus said that he would discuss the relationship between the federal tax code and widening economic disparities.

  • Witnesses at the hearing will include the following:
    • Mr. Daniel Shaviro, Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation at the NYU School of Law and former staff member of the Joint Committee on Taxation who worked extensively on the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
    • Mr. Scott A. Hodge, the President of the Tax Foundation and author of several books and studies on tax policy and government spending.
    • Ms. Aviva Aron-Dine, a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at MIT and a former Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities who specialized in the economic and budgetary effects of federal tax policy.
    • Mr. Alan Reynolds, a Senior Fellow at the Cato institute and former Director of Economic Research at the Hudson Institute.

ENSIGN TO RESIGN FROM SENATE:  Senate Finance member John Ensign (R-NV) will resign from office on May 3 due to a pending Ethics Committee inquiry.  Ensign said, "While I stand behind my firm belief that I have not violated any law, rule, or standard of conduct of the Senate, and I have fought to prove this publicly, I will not continue to subject my family, my constituents, or the Senate to any further rounds of investigation, depositions, drawn out proceedings, or especially public hearings.  For my family and me, this continued personal cost is simply too great."

  • Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) was expected to be a leading contender to fill Ensign’s slot on the Committee, but has asked that his name be removed from consideration.  Today, an aide to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said that DeMint is "very interested" in the seat.
  • Earlier this year, Finance members Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and Kent Conrad (D-ND) stated that they would not seek re-election.

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As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

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