Legislators seeking to rewrite tax code visit Philadelphia

 Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., left, and the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., talk about tax reform to 3M executives in Maplewood, Minn., on their tour of the country to rally support for their effort to overhaul the nation’s tax laws. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien, File)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., left, and the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., talk about tax reform to 3M executives in Maplewood, Minn., on their tour of the country to rally support for their effort to overhaul the nation’s tax laws. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien, File)

Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan stopped in Philadelphia today to stump for federal tax reform.

Camp and Baucus have begun touring the country to speak with small-business owners about what Baucus calls a “barnacle-encrusted” tax code in advance of a planned rewrite later this year.

“The code’s got to be brought up to date so we are more competitive. Everybody agrees on that,” Baucus said. “It comes down to simplifying the code, especially for small business.”

Overall the goal is to reduce the number of special tax deductions and lower the overall tax rate paid by everyone.

But the details—which exemptions mights stay or go—are still a work in progress. Even as he decried the spread of targeted tax breaks, Baucus said he’d like to see some incentives maintained for small businesses.

John New, CEO of The Hub, a meeting and conference hosting services space in Philadelphia, seemed ready to support the final product.

“It just doesn’t need to be that complicated,” New said. “And it also seems, from small and large businesses alike, that there’s threats from every angle.”

Baucus, a Democrat, chairs the Senate Finance Committee. Camp, a Republican, chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.

They plan to draft a bill for consideration by the end of this year.

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