Proposed Tax Breaks Don’t Hold Water With Ryan

Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:23pm

Both parties have, in the past, supported using tax incentives to attract businesses to impoverished communities, with programs — variously called “enterprise zones,” “promise zones,” “empowerment zones” or “economic freedom zones” — that include tax breaks for expensing, financing and wage costs.

Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., have introduced a bill (S 591) to make permanent the New Markets Tax Credit, which directs private capital to low-income communities through a 39 percent tax credit for investors.

Meanwhile, Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., propose finding money for infrastructure by allowing companies to repatriate foreign profits at a reduced 6.5 percent tax rate over five years. And President Barack Obama would apply a mandatory 14 percent tax rate on accumulated foreign profits — so-called deemed repatriation — to fund a six-year reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund.

But the proposals don’t carry much weight with Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who says highway funding should be linked to tax changes “only in the context of tax reform.”

“We’re not for the temporary repatriation — that costs money, by the way, this holiday — and a one-time ‘deemed’ repatriation, not inside of converting the system and going to full tax reform, doesn’t work,” Ryan said.