The House Ways and Means Committee is looking to the week of Sept. 10 for the markup of Tax Reform 2.0. Legislative text to the tax-cuts package has not yet been made public; the framework to the legislation was unveiled just before House lawmakers departed for August recess. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) will huddle with House GOP members on Sept. 6 to lay out his plan to advance Tax Reform 2.0. The chairman reiterated this week that he wants a floor vote on the package before the end of September.
Tax policy observers are keeping a close eye on whether Tax Reform 2.0 will actually land on the House floor. There has been chatter that the entire effort might be put on hold given the Aug. 23 release of the Treasury’s proposed rule on charitable contributions and state and local tax credits. The proposal is in response to actions taken by high-tax states to circumvent the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction (SALT) enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Under the proposal, the Treasury would limit the amount that taxpayers can deduct for charitable contributions if they have received state tax credits for their contributions – this specifically targets the workarounds that have been enacted by states like New Jersey and New York. For example, if a taxpayer makes a $50,000 donation and then receives a $45,000 state tax credit, he or she would only be allowed to write off $5,000 on the federal tax return. Check out the Tax Foundation’s discussion of the proposed rule here.
The Treasury’s shutdown of these workarounds to the SALT cap puts GOP lawmakers from high-tax states in a tough spot when it comes to a vote on Tax Reform 2.0. They would have to choose between voting for the legislation, which would make the cap permanent, or voting against their colleagues on this second round of tax cuts – a tough call in an election year. But at this writing, GOP leaders appear undeterred in their push for a vote on Tax Reform 2.0 before November.