Kevin Brady to head House tax reform task force on energy

Kevin Brady

(From left) Kevin Brady, representing the 8th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives and Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, answer questions during a fundraising event Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in The Woodlands.  (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle )
Kevin Brady, representing the 8th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives watches as Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, answers questions during a fundraising event Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in The Woodlands.  (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle )
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Congressman Kevin Brady holds a press conference Tuesday afternoon after leading a meeting held by local congressional delegates, CEO's and top officials of local, national and international drilling companies to discuss the Obama Administration's efforts to shut down all offshore drilling in the Gulf Coast and the effect that this would have on the job market along the Gulf Coast. Tuesday, July 6, 2010, in Houston. ( John Jiles / Chronicle )
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Rep. Kevin Brady is a busy man these days. He’s chairing Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. He’s heading up the House Ways & Means Committee Health Subcommittee.

And now he’s taking on new and significant responsibilities: He’s been asked by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to coordinate a bipartisan task force looking at energy-related provisions of the tax code.

Brady’s intensive mission — the deadline is tax day, April 15 — is to study how comprehensive tax reform should affect the energy sector of the U.S. economy.

The Republican from The Woodlands said his goal is to modernize energy tax code provisions — some of which date to 1913 and 1914 — to focus on “making it more competitive globally.” The reform mix could include lower rates and closing loopholes, he said.

Brady said the energy industry currently pays an effective tax rate of 40 percent, compared to 25 percent for most other businesses.

“If we want lower rates and we want a simpler tax code, the status quo is not an option,” he said in an interview with Texas on the Potomac this morning.

Brady’s Democratic partner in the tax-reform exercise is Rep. Mike Thompson, a California Democrat.

The Texas Republican said he and Thompson are “not expected to come to a consensus.” Instead, their goal is to “identify key questions that the committee should be asking” as it pursues comprehensive tax reform this year.

“Chairman Camp is dead serious about moving fundamental [tax] reform this year,” Brady said.

Let us know YOUR suggestions for energy-related tax changes by sharing your ideas on our TxPotomac Facebook page, tweeting us at @TxPotomac or sending us an email. We’ll pass your ideas along along to Rep. Brady.