IMG_0690Jones Walker LLP and the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region recently hosted a discussion on federal tax reform and its potential impact on businesses and individuals. The discussion was led by Derek Theurer, Tax Counsel to U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. Sen. Cassidy serves on the Senate Finance Committee and will be a key leader in federal tax reform debates. Sen. Cassidy is keen to understand taxpayers’ concerns and priorities regarding federal tax reform and welcomes ongoing dialogue with stakeholders.

Mr. Theurer discussed items such as tax reform goals, the average corporate tax rate, the pros and cons of passing a tax bill through reconciliation, moving to a territorial system, and the border adjustment tax.

Tax reform has been a long time coming… There are a lot of distortions in the tax code.

-Derek Theurer, Tax Counsel to Sen. Bill Cassidy

Several business leaders in the audience stressed:

• the importance of the Historic Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit on rebuilding Louisiana after Katrina, and on continued economic development in Louisiana;

• the need to consider the impact that tax reform will have on affordable housing, especially in light of proposed budget cuts to HUD;

• the importance of a transition period to give companies a chance to adjust to any tax reform;

• and to be meaningful, tax reform needs to be on a permanent basis. Reform that can only be relied upon for a few years adds more uncertainty to business decisions.