71°F
weather icon Clear

Nevada’s Dean Heller presses for tax reform

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada. is pushing fiercely for Congress to move on tax reform, though it could happen sooner rather than later.

Heller, along with several of his colleagues in the U.S. Senate, including Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, are pushing a “24/7 narrative” to keep Congress active on tax reform, along with other initiatives.

With the push, Heller hopes to bring these initiatives across the finish line, he said in a conference call with several rural newspapers in Nevada on Wednesday.

Heller said the “goal is to have tax reform out of the United States Senate before Thanksgiving.”

The stage may be set for tax reform to move quickly.

The U.S. House of Representatives moved on Thursday to make tax reform easier to pass through the Senate.

The House passed, though narrowly, a $4 trillion budget resolution.

The 216-212 vote also sweeps in new reconciliation rules, inside the budget, that would allow the Senate to pass tax reform with a simple majority. This would allow Republicans to overcome a potential filibuster, which requires 60 votes to break.

The Senate already approved the $4 trillion budget on Oct. 20. The reconciliation rules now head to Trump’s desk for his signature. The president doesn’t need to sign the budget.

If tax reform is passed, some projections show it could cut taxes by as much as $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

On the Wednesday call with Heller, the senator said he’d been working with Ivanka Trump and other colleagues for most of the day to work on increasing the child tax credit in the plan.

“There’s an effort by a number of us here in the Senate to try to double that child tax credit for working families,” Heller said.

The current credit is worth up to $1,000 per qualifying child, depending on income, according to the Internal Revenue Services’ website.

In Heller’s discussions with Ivanka and his colleagues, he said he made it “clear that a bigger child tax credit could assist tens of thousands of families in Nevada by helping parents buy diapers, groceries, or school supplies for their kids,” he said in an email to the Pahrump Valley Times.

Heller sees other benefits as well with the potential for lowering tax rates for small businesses that “will help industries all across the spectrum, including tourism, construction and hospitality, create more jobs and give their workers higher wages.”

Though the framework has yet to be finalized, tax reform could reduce corporate tax from its current rate of 35 percent to 20 percent. The top rate on “pass-through” business income, wages and interest, would drop to 35 percent, according to a report by Forbes in early October.

Standard deductions allowed for individuals and married couples would increase, though personal exemptions and many itemized deductions would be eliminated, Forbes reported.

Stephen Miller, director of University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Center for Business and Economic Research, explained that “Any tax reform that lowers tax rates should be coupled with elimination of deductions, which may not occur.”

“That is, we get tax rate reductions, but the deductions remain,” Miller continued.

If this scenario were to occur in tax reform, Miller said “we clearly will increase our deficits going forward at the national level and increase our debt burden more quickly. It is far from clear that we need fiscal stimulus with the unemployment rate at 4.2 percent.”

On a state level, people with higher incomes “who do not take the standard deduction and itemize their actual deductions will possibly lose the sales tax deduction in Nevada,” Miller said.

Heller, who said he’s been in communication with House Speaker Paul Ryan, said the process to getting tax reform on the move could start as early as next week, with the Senate potentially starting their move a week to 10 days after that.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Halloween events abound in Pahrump

Several local individuals and organizations including the Nye County Sheriff’s Office are hosting a special two-day Halloween celebration.

Friday declared a day to remember nuke workers

Cold War Patriots will host a virtual 12th Annual Cold War Patriots Official National Day of Remembrance on Friday, Oct. 30. The presentation will be available for on-demand viewing any time. The celebration recognizes the men and women who worked in the U.S. nuclear weapons and uranium industries and honors those who are no longer with us.

Nye County floats possibility of balloon ordinance

Whether finding them fascinating or frightening, everyone seems to have an opinion on hot air balloons and for several Pahrump locals, they have recently become a big problem.

Sisolak proclaims Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples Day

Gov. Steve Sisolak has proclaimed Oct. 12 Indigenous People’s Day in Nevada, a proclamation that recognizes the Paiutes, Shoshone and Washoe nations as early inhabitants of the Great Basin and reiterates the state’s commitment to close the equity gap between indigenous people and the larger population.

Attorneys general oppose limits on foreign students

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced Tuesday he joined 22 state attorneys general in opposing efforts by the Trump administration to severely restrict the amount of time international students are allowed to stay in the United States.

Last Bottle House resident passes

Evan Thompson III, the last person to have actually lived in the Tom Kelly Bottle House in Rhyolite, passed away Oct. 2 at the age of 83. Most of the information in this article comes from an interview I conducted with him some five years ago.

Deal brings vision plans to Nevada Health Link

The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange on Wednesday announced a partnership with VSP Individual Vision Plans, an offering of VSP Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company.

Health district offers tips for a safe Halloween

Traditional Halloween activities can be unsafe during a pandemic, and the Southern Nevada Health District is issuing tips to help plan for a safer and healthier Halloween.

Cattlemen seeking teacher of the year nominations

The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association has started their annual quest for teacher of the year candidates and are asking for help in soliciting nominations from school principals and fellow teachers. The deadline for submitting nominations is Nov. 1.