Oct 31, 2017

How the Senate tax bill is shaping up

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Tax demands made by Sen. Susan Collins may already be included in the Senate plan. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

The House is set to release its tax plan on Wednesday, but the Senate is planning on releasing its own bill about a week or so after. The bill will differ in some significant ways from the House bill, and is geared toward attracting moderates like Sen. Susan Collins — and even potentially Democrats .

Here's how the Senate plan is shaping up, per congressional aides and an administration official.

  • The Senate is likely to not fully repeal the "estate tax" — a 40 percent tax on estates worth more than $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for couples. This is a key demand of Collins, per Bloomberg.
  • The Senate is more likely than the House to do a full repeal of the state and local tax deduction.
  • Yes, but: If there's any hope of courting Democrats, the deduction probably can't be fully repealed. There are currently quiet conversations ongoing with Democrats viewed as potentially gettable (such as Sens. Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper on the Finance Committee), per an administration official.
  • Like the House, there are likely to be four individual tax brackets — including keeping the current top rate of 39.6 percent on the wealthy (another Collins demand, although specifics matter). Both chambers have discussed levying this rate on people making $1 million and higher.
  • The Senate is unlikely to make changes to 401(k) contribution limits, although President Trump may have killed this idea in both chambers last week.
  • The Senate, along with the House, is likely to have a phase-in of the lower corporate rate.

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