It’s looking like the new corporate tax rate designation will be 21% rather than 20%, as Republican House and Senate negotiators rushed to finalize a tax deal Wednesday.
Despite the slight uptick, the new rate would mark a 14% reduction for companies. But negotiators appeared willing to nudge the rate up slightly to find funds to aid small businesses, the wealthiest Americans and middle-class families.
There also has been talk that a provision in the House bill to prevent nonprofits from using private activity bonds to finance projects may be scrapped. The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living and LeadingAge have been vocal critics of the change, which could have dire consequences for many of their members.
Several factors appear to be complicating progress on the final negotiations. One is that Republicans can expect little if any help from Democrats in revamping the nation’s tax code. Moreover, existing budget rules mandate that new legislation cannot add more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years to prevent a filibuster.
A new wrinkle was added Tuesday night, when Democrat Doug Jones unexpectedly defeated Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. This will likely force GOP negotiators to work with new urgency as they try to get a new tax bill to President Trump by next week; Jones will not be able to officially take office until the election is certified over the next few weeks. The election upset may give some Republican holdouts more leverage and likely will fuel demands by Democrats to slow down the push for tax reform.