Hatch to administration: Don't search for revenue in tax reform

In a statement, Hatch, the incoming ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, called for corporate tax reform, saying the current rates have hindered the business community’s ability to compete worldwide.

“I caution the administration and its Capitol Hill allies, however, against pursuing any tax increases under the guise of so-called reform,” Hatch said. “This would unnecessarily politicize a much-needed discussion of how to fix and improve our tax code. 

Hatch also said that he appreciated that Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, was meeting with close to 20 corporate financial officials on Friday to discuss tax reform and how it could spur investment. 

Treasury representatives have tried to downplay that meeting, dubbing it one in a series on tax reform. In an interview late last year, President Obama said he hoped to have a 2011 “conversation” about the tax code. 

And in fact, both Republicans and Democrats have sounded positive notes about tax reform in the early parts of this year. But while Geithner hinted earlier this week that the administration was looking at revenue-neutral ways to make changes to the tax code, Hatch’s statement illustrates revenue could still be a sticking point in the talks about reform. 

Hatch is up for reelection again in 2012, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has been mentioned as a potential challenger for the Republican nomination. Former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) was denied his party’s nod when he sought another term last year.