NLC Urges Tax Panel to Consider Cities' Views

Article excerpt

NLC President Anthony A. Williams, mayor of Washington D.C., last week urged the members of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform to "recognize the views of the nation's 18,000 cities and towns as it prepares to issue final recommendations on federal tax reform."

In a letter to former Sens. Connie Mack and John Breaux, chair and vice chair of the commission, Williams said "true tax reform must be considered within a framework that takes into account both economic vitality and the health of the system of public finance."

The letter included the NLC Board of Directors-adopted "Framework for Considering Changes in Federal Tax Policy," which outlines four key challenges:

* Improving the fairness of the system by broadening tax bases;

* Reducing the federal deficit and implementing a balanced set of spending constraints and revenue increase to bring the federal budget into balance;

* Taking into account the implications of proposed tax reforms for state and local governments; and

* Putting aside ideology and partisanship to foster a responsible public debate about what taxes pay for and government's role in meeting the needs of the American people. …