Wealthy Americans wondering how much more taxes they’ll owe after Democrats pass their sweeping social-spending package may have to wait until deep into the fall, or later, to find out.
The tax-writing panels in the House and Senate had until Sept. 15 to finish writing the details of what would amount to the biggest tax-hike package since 1993. Those details are part of a legislative push that incorporates Democrats’ plans for ramping up spending on initiatives including health, child care and clean energy.
They’re almost certain to miss that deadline.
First off, lawmakers don’t yet know how big the final tab will be, a key determinant for how much money will need to be raised. The outline known as a budget resolution that passed last week called for $3.5 trillion over 10 years. But moderate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have said they want a smaller figure in the final so-called reconciliation bill.
Next, legislators have different ideas about which tax measures to enact. President Joe Biden laid out a core set of proposals, including a boost to the capital gains and top income-tax rates, corporate-tax hikes and a change in how a levy on inheritance works. He also laid down a red line against boosting levies on those earning under $400,000.
But Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden has ideas of his own. In the House, Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal and his staff and panel members are moving on a separate track.
“We’ve put forward this menu of options, and it would be hard for me to say at this point which have a higher chance of success than others,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who has worked closely with the White House on tax issues. “We’re going to have strong support for a robust tax package,” he predicted, noting that it will need the support of all 50 Senate Democratic caucus members.