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Published: Wednesday, 7/31/2013

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE

Brown: Reform corporate tax rates, loopholes

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday outlined a plan to reform corporate taxes, a proposal he said would promote U.S. investment.

In a telephone news conference, Mr. Brown (D., Ohio) discussed a plan he submitted last week to the Senate Finance Committee, on which he serves. He said his plan would lower the corporate tax rate while closing loopholes and establish a global minimum tax rate to cut out overseas tax havens.

“Corporate tax reform matters to citizens, to corporations, to our country. Done right we can promote investments in the United States, and that’s obviously the goal of doing tax reform right. We can simplify the system,” he said.

President Obama this week called for a corporate tax rate cut along with investments in middle-class job creation.

Mr. Brown supports dropping the corporate tax rate, presently at 35 percent, but said a new rate amount has yet to be determined.

Elaine Kamarck, co-chairman of the Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably or the RATE coalition, a nonprofit organization of large American companies calling for a lower corporate tax rate, joined Mr. Brown on the conference call and said the rate range being discussed in Washington varies from 25 to 28 percent.

Ms. Kamarck said the coalition is willing to give up some tax expenditures, or loopholes, to achieve a lower rate.

Republicans want tax reforms to be “revenue-neutral,” Mr. Brown said, a difference from Democrats’ plan.

“We want to see revenues that can be invested in infrastructure and education and health care,” he said. “That’s a difference now, but that’s negotiable between the parties.”

Mr. Brown said a global minimum tax rate plan would require U.S. companies to pay taxes on profits made out of the country, thus reducing the incentive to leave the United States.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) was not available for comment Wednesday. A spokesman referred to comments he made Tuesday at a news conference about the President’s tax reform plan in which he expressed concern about reform plans that are not “revenue-neutral.”

“We have a situation now in our country where our business tax code is so uncompetitive, antiquated, outdated that we are losing investment, jobs, headquarters even as we stand here today,” Mr. Portman said in taped remarks.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6056, or on Twitter @vanmccray.



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