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Business Coalition Urges Debt Panel To Lower Corporate Tax Rate

By Kristina Peterson Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- A coalition of companies including AT&T Inc. (T), Boeing Co. (BA), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Intel Corp. (INTC) told the congressional deficit-reduction panel in a letter Wednesday that all corporate tax breaks should be reconsidered in the process of lowering the corporate tax rate. A group of 18 companies urged the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to significantly reduce the top corporate tax rate of 35% if the bipartisan panel of 12 lawmakers decides to establish a framework for overhauling the tax code. The Reducing America's Taxes Equitably coalition "understands that a significantly lower corporate tax rate has budget implications, and in exchange for a meaningful reduction in the corporate tax rate, every corporate tax expenditure should be on the table," the group wrote in Wednesday's letter. Other members of the coalition include FedEx Corp. (FDX), United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), Altria Group Inc. (MO) and Walt Disney Co. (DIS). The coalition didn't specify where the rate should be lowered and hasn't said whether an overhaul of the tax code should bring in more revenue or bring in the same amount of taxes. Under the deal reached to raise the debt ceiling this summer, the so-called supercommittee must agree on a way to reduce the federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years and Congress must approve its plan by late December, or automatic spending cuts will be triggered. The coalition of U.S. multinationals launched its effort last month to press lawmakers to overhaul the corporate tax code and lower the corporate tax rate. -By Kristina Peterson, Dow Jones Newswires; 347-882-7215; kristina.peterson@dowjones.com

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