Corporate group urges continued tax reform action

A corporate-backed coalition is urging lawmakers to not throw in the towel on tax reform in 2014.

The Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably, or RATE, Coalition says that voters will reward candidates who seek to overhaul the tax code this year.

The group argues that voters want to see Washington break the partisan divide, that they want a simpler tax system and that a rewritten code can spark economic growth.

“The electorate stands ready to reward candidates who promote government reforms designed to spur economic growth,” Elaine Kamarck and James Pinkerton, the group’s co-chairs, wrote in a new memo.

“At a time when Americans are tired of stagnation, a pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-tax reform candidate is much more favorably positioned in this election year than the candidate who forgoes this opportunity to get something done that simplifies the system and creates meaningful economic opportunities for all Americans.”

Still, the new memo concentrates more on how tax reform is a winning political issue, and less about getting an overhaul across the finish line this year.

Lawmakers and K Street have been skeptical that House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) could get a tax reform bill passed this year – skepticism that only hardened after President Obama nominated Baucus to be his envoy to China.

Even before that announcement, GOP leaders in the House and Democratic leaders in the Senate had not made tax reform a priority for the coming year.