Legislative Agenda: 2015, The Year of Reform?
Issue: Tax Rates, Deductions
Where it Stands: Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, retired at the end of the 113th Congress. He championed a wide-ranging, comprehensive tax overhaul, which included a reduction of rates and closing of loopholes—"things that everyone hated," Lyons says. A number of elements in the proposed overhaul included the elimination of mortgage deductions for homeowners and the lowering of charitable rates tax deductions.
Print Lobby Viewpoint: Any type of reform must be comprehensive, Lyons notes, meaning that both corporate tax rates and individual tax rates have to be addressed. "That individual rate is paid by many small businesses," she says. "To just address the corporate rate is fine for large, multinational corporations. But, for a majority of the printing companies that are small businesses, they need to see the individual rate side addressed, as well."
Possible Outcomes: While Camp's work never materialized, certain elements could be incorporated as jumping off points for incoming chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. The former vice presidential candidate is viewed as a thought leader on budget and tax issues.
Ramifications of Inaction: Not all bad. The down side in Rep. Camp's blueprint for a revenue-neutral plan was that it called for raisers (a.k.a., tax hikes) in other areas of the tax code. One such idea was to remove the ad tax that allows corporations to deduct 100 percent of their advertising costs. Camp's plan did propose the elimination of this deduction. This threat has been around for the better part of a decade, but a coalition has been hard at work countering the idea on Capitol Hill.
"It's very harmful to our industry," Lyons points out. "Eliminating the full deductibility of advertising costs would prove to be a big hit on print manufacturers who rely heavily on the print advertising of their clients, a bread-and-butter piece of business."