Trump's tax cut aim doubtful: US treasury secretary
13 September, 2017, 00:19
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is considering plans to backdate changes to the US tax regime to the start of the year.
Mnuchin framed the issue in terms of the ongoing bartering between the administration and congressional leadership, which most recently produced a deal that raises the debt ceiling and keeps the government operating into December.
At the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor, Mnuchin reiterated that the White House wants to scrap state and local tax deductions.
Trump campaigned on the promise of cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, but Mr Mnuchin said that the goal would be hard to achieve. "What the exact number is, we'll see".
Pressed on whether lowering the corporate tax rate to the mid-20s would be acceptable, Mnuchin demurred, but he said that simply passing tax reform would be a "win".
Republicans across the board want to lower the corporate rate, which is now 35 percent, as part of tax reform. Mnuchin said the one-year provision was not widely reported but is an important piece in the saga over the budget negotiations.
Mnuchin said that Republicans plan to eliminate the state and local tax deduction, so there won't be a tax cut for people in high-tax states such as NY and California.
Economists have long called for a lower corporate tax in the United States, which is the highest among OECD countries.
Mnuchin, who had insisted earlier on Tuesday that tax overhaul would be a certainty before year's end, told CNBC that backdating was "something we are considering and it would be a big boon for the economy".
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