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 a final tax reform bill, issued the following statement today regarding the House and Senate conference committee agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While timing has yet to be finalized, the Senate is expected to consider the bill early next week. Once the bill clears both the House and Senate, it will head to the president for his signature.
“Members of the House and Senate came together to finalize the details of a pro-growth tax reform bill that will provide Americans with more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks. By reducing individual tax rates, doubling the standard deduction, and increasing the child tax credit, our bill will ensure Americans are able to keep more of their hard-earned money. And by lowering taxes on job creators, our bill will foster an economic environment that will give Americans access to more jobs, higher wages, and better opportunities. Our final package delivers on the promise we made to provide real relief to hardworking Americans. After years of economic stagnation, this bill will usher in a new era of economic dynamism in this country. And it will send a message to the world that America is serious about competing and succeeding in the 21st century economy.”
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:
- 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.
- 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 to ensure that trusts, including ESBTs, and estates benefit from the new deduction for owners of pass-through businesses like S corporations.
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 bill that would provide 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.
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 (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.