Corporate tax group praises Romney, Obama

Romney has called for lowering the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, which puts him in line with congressional Republicans. The White House, meanwhile, put out a paper this year calling for a top rate of 28 percent, with that even lower rate for manufacturers.

ADVERTISEMENT
That common ground drew praise from the RATE Coalition, a group that includes corporate titans like AT&T, Nike and Walt Disney that are pushing for a reform that would lower their rate and get rid of some tax breaks. 

“Last night was the clearest indication yet that America needs to reform its corporate tax code,” Jim Pinkerton, a former Reagan adviser and a co-chair of the RATE Coalition, said on Thursday. “Now is the time for action.

“Both nominees clearly stated their support for a lower rate and broader base,” added RATE’s other co-chair, Elaine Kamarck, a onetime adviser to President Clinton. “With that in mind, policymakers should begin work on corporate tax reform that follows that philosophy.”

Still, despite any general agreement between the two candidates, they continue to have broad differences over how to deal with the individual code – which is where many businesses happen to pay their taxes.

Democrats and Republicans have also taken shots at the other side’s framework for corporate tax reform. 

Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), the ranking Democrat at House Ways and Means, has cited a Joint Committee on Taxation study that says ridding the code of a wide variety of breaks would only pay to lower the corporate rate to 28 percent. 

Republicans have dismissed that estimate as incomplete, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, called Obama’s February draft “set of bullet points designed more for the campaign trail than an actual blueprint for fixing our tax code.”

GOP lawmakers have also called for overhauling the individual and corporate code in tandem, while the White House has only released a corporate reform framework.