Lawmakers set to hammer out tax reform differences in final days of session

On Tuesday, members of the House and Senate were appointed to a free conference committee to tackle the differences in tax reform policies presented this session and come to an agreement.

After much discussion around needing to pass fixes for unintended consequences, which came as a result of the tax reform bill passed in 2018, the legislative chambers have presented their own ideas on how to tackle new changes.

Because the House and Senate did not agree on how to move forward on the policies, a free conference committee was appointed on Tuesday with members of leadership from each caucus and the Appropriation and Revenue Chairs in each legislative chambers appointed to come to an agreement before the end of session.

Some of the issues that are currently on the table include how nonprofits are treated under the tax code when it comes to sales tax, the collection of sales taxes on internet sales, and other small issues.

Because it is a free conference committee, the leaders will be able to consider any policies, not limited to only the items listed in each of the proposals. It has been indicated that other things may be considered, with the bank franchise tax and others being mentioned in floor speeches on the topic.

Both of the current proposals are considered revenue negative to the budget in the coming year. In the first meeting of the conference committee Tuesday evening, Senate President Robert Stivers noted the state is already expected to be behind on revenue projections for the budget passed last year and added the impact of any changes to the tax code may be critical in what the overall decisions on an agreement will be.

The group simply covered the differences in the bills on Tuesday and will meet again on Wednesday upon adjournment of the House and Senate.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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