December 7, 2018

Joint Letter: End the Tax Extenders Once And For All

Read the Letter as a PDF.

Below is a joint letter to Congressional leadership and the heads of the taxwriting committees that it is time to end the practice of enacting tax policy one year at a time. It is issued jointly by seven organizations from across the political spectrum: the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Americans for Prosperity, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Heritage Action for America, Freedom Partners, the Economic Policy Institute, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).

Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer,

On behalf of our organizations and the broader public interest, we are writing to urge your support for ending the practice of temporary “tax extenders” once and for all.

Though our organizations span the political spectrum, we all agree that it is time to stop making tax policy one year at a time. Continuing to renew special-interest tax giveaways on a temporary and often retroactive basis is bad tax, fiscal, and economic policy.

The bipartisan PATH Act of 2015 was supposed to put “an end to the repeated tax extenders exercise,” according to Chairman Hatch (R-UT). This sentiment was shared by members of both parties. Yet rather than breaking that cycle, these policies are back on the table once again.

Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offered a chance to deal with any lingering tax extenders as part of broader tax reform. In the end, many of these special-interest tax provisions were left out precisely because they would have no place in a post-tax reform world. One of the stated goals of that bill was to eliminate loopholes, carve-outs, and deductions that benefit special interests in favor of lowering rates across the board. Congress should not insert these policies back into the tax code now or in the future.

It is time to end this counterproductive cycle. While we appreciate that the proposed package did not include any new tax extenders, the practice of extending temporary tax provisions should be ended on the whole.

The American public deserves fair and stable tax, fiscal, and economic policy. Tax extenders don’t pass muster.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Tim Chapman
Executive Director, Heritage Action

Alan Essig
Executive Director, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

Brent Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Thea Lee
President, Economic Policy Institute

Maya MacGuineas
President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Nathan Nascimento
Executive Vice President, Freedom Partners

Faye Park
President, U.S. PIRG