Reed Optimistic On Tax Reform, New Net Regulations

The timeline for tax reform is moving along as planned, according to U.S. Rep. Tom Reed.

In a media call Tuesday, Reed said the Senate version of the tax reform bill is scheduled to come to the floor next week. Should the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” pass the Senate, Reed said the hope is to have the bill to the president’s desk by Christmas.

“I think the Senate outlook is very positive,” Reed said.

There are differences between the bill the House of Representatives recently passed. However, Reed said the differences are “solvable.”

Reed said there has been some discussion of making the reform applicable to 2017 tax returns, though he said he doesn’t believe that it is “viable for 2017.” The reform would come into effect in 2018, and Reed said prior to filing taxes, people would see savings in their paychecks. Reed said the reform will allow a family of four in his district to see a tax cut of $1,600.

Reed said he has expressed interest in being involved in the conference committee when it comes to negotiations with the Senate. He said he is “hopeful” that he will be included in that committee, but is confident that he will be involved in the process due to his work on tax reform.

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act was introduced into the House last Thursday and was approved. According to a release from the House Ways and Means Committee, the act includes lower individual tax rates for low- and middle-income individuals and families to 0 percent, 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent; increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples; eliminates a variety of tax breaks; establishes a new family credit that expands the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600; maintains the Earned Income Tax Credit; preserves home mortgage interest deduction; and allows for writing off state and local property taxes.

The act also lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, reduces tax rate on small business income to no more than 25 percent and retains the low-income housing tax credit.

Reed also commented on the Federal Communications Commission’s possible change to regulations regarding net neutrality. On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement on the draft, “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” that would eliminate “utility-style regulations” that currently govern the internet. Pai said the order would “abandon this failed approach.”

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micro managing the Internet,” Pai said.

The plan, though highly controversial, will be voted on at the FCC’s open meeting on Dec. 14.

Reed said he supports net neutrality, meaning a “truly free internet.” He said he is “concerned and watching” the issue.

“I’m more about having a robust and free net neutrality law on the books,” Reed said.