Bill would tie tax reforms to infrastructure investment

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 12/15/2014

A bill filed in the U.S. House of Representatives proposes to reform the tax code and attract new money for transportation and other infrastructure. The bill filed by U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., would create incentives for U.S. corporations to bring back profits stored in offshore accounts and invest it in infrastructure.

Delaney filed HR5857 on Dec. 11, calling it the Infrastructure and Global Tax Competitiveness Act. The incentives are similar to a bill he filed in 2013 called the Partnership to Build America Act, which received co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle but did not pass in the 113th Congress.

Similar to the previous effort, Delaney’s bill would create a $50 billion federal infrastructure bank, which Delaney says could be leveraged to finance $750 billion for roads, bridges and transit along with water systems, energy, communications and education infrastructure.

Corporations that repatriate offshore earnings could do so at a reduced tax rate of 8.75 percent if they invest in infrastructure bonds, according to the proposal. The current tax rate on repatriated offshore earnings is 35 percent.

In addition to tax reforms, HR5857 would establish a commission to oversee the permanent solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

HR5857 currently resides in the House Ways and Means Committee along with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The tax rate proposed in HR5857 is the same as what House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., proposed in a comprehensive tax reform package in February 2014.

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