Getting Closer to a Final Tax Deal

Getting Closer to a Final Tax Deal


All eyes are on the Senate election in Alabama today, but in Washington, tax writers are making progress as they work to hash out a final tax package, with a deal possible as soon as today. “We don’t have it right this minute but we are getting closer,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters. “We’re narrowing those differences.”

Among the provisions being discussed, according to The Washington Post, the Associated Press and other reports:

  • Reducing the top individual tax rate to 37 percent, down from the current 39.6 percent
  • An expanded deduction for state and local taxes that would allow individuals to write off income taxes as well as property taxes — a big issue for high-tax states
  • Elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax that was reintroduced to the Senate tax bill
  • Setting the mortgage interest deduction on the first $750,000 of a new loan, splitting the difference between the House ($500,000) and Senate ($1 million)
  • Setting the corporate tax rate at 21 percent, higher than the 20 percent called for in both the House and Senate bills but lower than the 22 percent that had been floated recently by President Trump and others. A rule of thumb holds that each percentage point represents about $100 billion in revenue.

The details won’t be final until the conference committee’s legislation is formally filed, which the tax writers hope to do on Friday, the Post reports. Votes in the House and Senate would follow next week.