On July 18, 2017, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held its second tax reform hearing of this Congress, “Comprehensive Tax Reform: Prospects and Challenges.” While the hearing focused on broad principles and challenges to reforming the federal tax code, it did involve some discussion on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Preserving the SALT deduction has been a long-standing priority for GFOA, and it remains so as the debate on tax reform evolves. Committee members heard from four individuals who served as Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in the U.S. Treasury Department. An archived video of the hearing and the panelists’ written statements are available online.
The hearing comes on the heels of a request for public feedback on tax reform from Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Comments were filed on behalf of the Public Finance Network (PFN), a coalition of organizations in Washington, D.C., led by GFOA, that represent segments of state and local government on finance issues. The comments stressed the importance of maintaining the exclusion for municipal bond interest and the preservation of the SALT deduction as a necessity for a strong federal-state-local partnership that delivers core governmental services to citizens. The PFN’s comments are also available online.