Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act becoming law in December 2017, the last time any kind of comprehensive tax reform legislation made it to a president’s desk was the same year “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Platoon” hit the big screen. Cult classics get better with age, but the same can’t always be said about our tax code. The economy and consumer demands are constantly evolving, and I believe the tax code should, too, which means we can’t relegate ourselves to addressing this important issue every third of a century.
Saying we should always be updating and modernizing our tax code is one thing, but as a lawmaker, in order to create any meaningful change, you need to go from talking about it to actually doing something about it. Not only did I help write the historic 2017 tax reform law, which has been helping American families and business since its enactment, but I’ve continued to roll out additional proposals that I believe would further strengthen the tax code and help provide additional relief to taxpayers.
The idea of reforming the tax code can often push policymakers into partisan corners, but I’m here to say that it can be a bipartisan exercise, and I’ve proven it. For example, I recently introduced the S Corporation Modernization Act with Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland. An S corporation is the most common business structure in America, and there are nearly 5 million of them throughout the United States, including many throughout South Dakota. Simply put, our bill would reform the S corporation tax structure to make it easier for these businesses to grow and create jobs.
I already mentioned that the economy is always evolving, but the businesses and employees who help support it are changing and adapting, too. Today, many employees have jobs that require them to cross state lines, sometimes for just a short period of time. Earlier this year, I introduced the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act with Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio. It would create an across-the-board standard for mobile employees who enter multiple tax jurisdictions during the year and help ensure that states receive fair tax payments along the way.
Technology is obviously a driving force for what consumers want and how businesses respond. I’ve introduced the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act with Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and the New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth Act – or NEW GIG Act – which are both aimed at bringing the tax code further into the 21st century by responding to these evolving consumer and business needs.
In all, I’ve introduced six standalone tax bills this year alone that recognize the reality of the ever-changing economic landscape and that our tax code should be seen as a living document – not something that sits on the shelf and collects dust. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a generation in the making, and, again, it’s helped boost paychecks and create more opportunities for the American people. The results speak for themselves, and I’m glad it’s the law of the land – I just want to keep our foot on the gas and not wait for another three decades before we act again.