WASHINGTON – National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn’s announcement that the Trump administration has set an early September target date for releasing its tax reform and tax cuts package has pushed tax lobbying into high gear.
Cohn made the announcement Friday during a television interview on Fox Business.
“We are into the nitty gritty details of working on tax reform right now,’’ Cohn said. “We will have a very detailed drafted tax plan to be delivered to Congress when they get back from the August recess.’’
Congress returns after Labor Day from a five-week August recess, but finalizing the 2018 federal budget and a vote on the federal debt limit may eat up much of September’s legislative calendar.
The general objectives of the tax plan, Cohn restated Friday, will be “to broaden the base dramatically by getting rid of deductions’’ and stimulate that economy by lowering corporate tax rates.
Trade organizations and local governments are revving up their lobbying to influence that final tax package.
Two top officials of the Municipal Bonds for America coalition are scheduled to meet at the White House Wednesday with members of the president’s domestic policy council, including representatives on urban affairs and revitalization policy.
Their top message is maintaining the federal tax exclusion for municipal bonds. “Until it’s proved that it’s not on the table, we are going to defend the tax exemption,’’ Justin Underwood, the coalition’s director, said in a phone interview Monday.
Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, S.C., who chairs the coalition, will attend the meeting, which is a follow up to a December meeting the mayor had with then President-elect Trump.
“We hope to relay that we want to be a resource to them as they finalize the details of their tax reform plan,’’ Underwood said. The coalition wants the administration to consider the needs of small and medium sized cities as it formulates its tax package, said Underwood, who will also be at the meeting.
In addition, the coalition wants any infrastructure plans that the administration proposes “be additive to the bond market and not a replacement for it,’’ he said.
Top congressional Republicans have been meeting with the administration on the evolving tax plan.
House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told Fox News Sunday on May 28 that Republican lawmakers and the president’s team meet weekly and “are laser focused on tax reform.’’