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Sunday, September 11, 2011

So Many Federal Tax Proposals

Len Burman has another great post in Forbes today with a graphic on the number of revenue estimate and other requests the Joint Committee on Taxation has received in the past several years (here). In several of the past ten years, there have been over 3,500 requests, reaching a high of almost 7,800 in 2007!

The revenue estimate requests means that a member of Congress had a tax proposal and needed to get a revenue estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). The requests are confidential. Of course, most of these proposals are never enacted, but this is a lot of time spent on something other than making the tax law simpler!

For more information from the JCT on its revenue estimating process and number of requests - see this JCT page - here.

There has been a growth in the number of special tax rules as explained in a JCT report on tax expenditures (JCX-15-11, March 2011, page 16). As you can see in the JCT chart from that report included at the end of this post, the number of special provisions increased from about 150 in 1999 to just over 200 in 2007. And many members of Congress keep thinking of even more as evidenced by the revenue estimate requests.
What do you think?

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