WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of both the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee and the conference committee tasked with negotiating the final tax reform bill, issued the following statement today regarding the Senate’s passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“This is a historic moment for our nation. For the first time since 1986, Congress has passed a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code. Our goal with this pro-growth tax reform package was to put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans and create a tax code that fosters economic growth. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act achieves that goal. Next year, families across America will see their tax bills drop and take-home pay increase, and businesses will find it easier to grow their operations, hire new workers, and raise wages. This legislation brings America’s tax system into the 21st century — benefiting workers and our economy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides Americans with the relief they’ve been waiting for and ensures that America is ready to compete and win in the global marketplace.”
Since January 2017, Thune has introduced numerous individual tax reform marker bills that cover multiple portions of the tax code. Thune-authored provisions included in the conference report to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are:
- Faster cost recovery: Modified portions of Thune’s Investment in New Ventures and Economic Success Today (INVEST) Act of 2017 (S. 1144), legislation that would simplify accounting rules and reform key parts of the tax code to help small and medium-sized business owners more quickly recover investment costs and certain other tax deductible business expenses. By accelerating cost recovery on property, equipment, inventory, and other common business investments, these provisions would encourage new business growth and help existing businesses, including farms and ranches, expand their operations, create new jobs, and grow the economy.
- Modernized tax code for small and medium-sized businesses: Provisions from Thune’s S Corporation Modernization Act of 2017 (S. 711) that would allow foreign individuals to invest in S corporations through Electing Small Business Trusts (ESBTs) and treat ESBTs like S corporation shareholders so both can claim deductions with respect to charitable contributions made by an S corporation. Thune also led efforts during the conference committee to ensure that trusts, including ESBTs, and estates benefit from the new deduction for owners of pass-through businesses like S corporations.
Additional tax reform benefits:
- Shared goals on agriculture cooperatives and renewable energy tax credits: Through his role as a member of the conference committee, Thune helped a number of other senators to include their shared priorities. Working with Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Thune helped improve the new deduction for pass-through businesses so owners of agricultural cooperatives benefit from the 20 percent deduction. Thune also worked with Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Grassley to ensure that tax credits for renewable energy, like wind and solar, are taken into account under the new international tax rules.
- Protecting more family-run farms and ranches from the death tax: Thune doesn’t believe death should be a taxable event, which is why he introduced the Death Tax Repeal Act in January 2017 and still strongly supports this approach. The conference report to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes his provision from the Senate tax reform bill that would double the exemption level, providing additional relief (compared to current law) to more of South Dakota’s family-run businesses, farms, and ranches that are currently threatened by the death tax, which is important progress and a step toward full repeal.