Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Sam Wice, For Tax Reform Estimates, Don’t Look to CBO, Look to JCT, Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (Aug. 7, 2017):
The shift in focus from healthcare to tax reform will mean that the little known Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) will soon play a starring role. During discussions about healthcare reform, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) played an important role in estimating how many people would be insured under competing Republican proposals. With the shift to tax reform, a little known agency with most of its offices one floor above CBO will make the cost estimates for tax refor. While CBO estimates the impact of most legislation, it does not impact direct changes to taxes. Instead, JCT estimates tax proposals and will play a central role in tax reform. ...
Although the upcoming tax reform estimates might appear on CBO letterhead, they will largely be JCT estimates of how much revenue will be lost or gained through any tax proposal. It will largely be JCT, not CBO, whose estimates are essential to determining whether tax reform can pass reconciliation by being deficit neutral.