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Johnson cuts deal, should cast deciding vote on GOP tax bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says he has cut a deal with Senate leaders and is prepared to cast the deciding 50th vote to pass the GOP tax-overhaul bill.

Johnson said Friday on the “Jay Weber Show” on WISN-AM in Milwaukee that he secured changes in the bill on taxes paid by pass-through businesses that helped win his support. He says there will also be better transition rules for companies that are reorganizing.

At issue were millions of businesses whose owners report the firm’s profits on their individual tax returns. The vast majority of U.S. businesses are taxed this way.

Johnson says the deal also gives him a role in the process of reconciling the Senate and House versions of the bill.

The Associated General Contractors of America on Friday announced its support of the tax-reform measure, largely giving credit to the proposed pass-through deduction increase.

“The association has long advocated for comprehensive tax reform, especially considering that construction employers pay the highest effective rate of any industry at 30.3 percent,”  Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of AGC of America, said in a statement. “The Senate tax reform bill has been substantially improved over the course of the past few days and we support its passage.”

Even so, the bill isn’t perfect, said Sandherr.

“It is important to note that most construction firms are organized as pass-through entities, such as S corporations and partnerships that are taxed at personal rather than corporate tax rates. While the Senate proposal has wisely increased the pass-through deduction from 17.4 percent to 23 percent, the fact that the cut is temporary is concerning. We also remain disappointed that infrastructure was largely overlooked in the tax reform process. This is a missed opportunity.”

 

The Daily Reporter staff writer Alex Zank contributed to this report.

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