Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), above, won a three-candidate race this week in the 118th Congress to become the youngest-ever chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policies affecting commercial real estate. Former Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) now becomes the panel’s ranking member. (Roll Call and Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9)
- Rep. Smith is a 42-year-old lawyer who was first elected to the House in 2012. He served as the top Republican on the House Budget Committee in the previous Congress, and is a close ally of new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). (PoliticoPro, Jan. 9)
- Rep. Smith was a leading supporter of Roundtable-supported legislation introduced in 2021 to make permanent the 20 percent deduction for qualified pass-through business income (Section 199A). The pass-through deduction was enacted on a temporary basis as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017. Rep. Smith also spoke at The Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) in June 2016 at the height of the tax reform debate. (Smith news release, Feb. 26, 2021 and stakeholder letter of support).
- There are only five remaining Republican members on Ways and Means who served on the panel when the TCJA was enacted. Several TCJA provisions are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025, including Section 199A and the limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9)
A New Agenda
- On Monday, Ways and Means Chairman Smith stated, “We will build on the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and examine how our policies can reward working families with a tax code that delivers better jobs, higher wages, and more investment in America.” He added that he would aim to use the tax code to strengthen American supply chains, encourage domestic energy production, and achieve energy independence. (Smith statement, Jan. 9)
- On Dec. 7, 2022, Rep. Smith also discussed key priorities that should be addressed by the Ways and Means Committee with Punchbowl News. (Watch video)
- House Republicans added 10 new members to the Ways and Means Committee on Jan. 11, and six Republican women will be part of the 25-seat majority on the panel. Subcommittee chairs will not be decided for several weeks, according to Chairman Smith. (BGov, Jan. 12)
TPAC will discuss industry tax priorities in the 118th Congress during their next meeting on Jan. 25 in conjunction with The Roundtable’s State of the Industry Meeting in Washington, DC.
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