Shortly after the House re-passed the tax bill, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch announced that it wasn’t reform. He didn’t say as much, but actions speak louder than words. And his quick action was to release the “Tax Extender Act of 2017.”
Wow, that was fast. Faster than a race car. Oh, wait there’s a provision in there for NASCAR track owners. Faster than Secretariat – oh wait there’s a tax provision for thoroughbred racehorse owners. Faster than a Moto GP bike – yup you guessed it, there’s a provision for electric motorcycles.
This package of 35 targeted tax breaks revives the little caboose that could – tax extenders. Virtually all of these narrowly targeted provisions expire in the next year or two. But we’ve seen this movie before – sigh, movie, television, and theater productions also get a tax break – right before or shortly after they expire the will get tacked on to some must-pass piece of legislation and get extended for a couple more years.
This is the opposite of tax reform. It is picking winners and losers. It is increasing complexity. It is reducing predictability. In short, it is BS.
It’s enough to drive a budget watchdog to drink. Oh wait, there’s a rum tax provision, too.