INDIANAPOLIS - The chief executive officer of the state's largest business advocacy group is lauding what President Donald Trump is calling an "America First Tax Relief Plan." Indiana Chamber's Kevin Brinegar says the plan, which includes corporate tax cuts, makes the kinds of changes to the country's tax structure that the organization has been calling for "for some time." Brinegar and some 100 Hoosier business leaders are in Washington D.C. this week lobbying the Indiana congressional delegation to "work toward a revenue-neutral, comprehensive reform of the federal tax code."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Brinegar said he's cautiously optimistic reforms that are "so desperately needed" will get done in Congress.

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who attended the invitation-only presentation at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis and flew with the president on Air Force One from the nation's capital to the state capital, said the "framework" discussed by Trump "is missing many details that will be critical to determining whether working and middle-class families truly stand to benefit."

Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) Chief Executive Officer Tom Linebarger called comprehensive tax reform "critical and urgent" and said "I am encouraged by the Big Six proposal released (Wednesday), which contains important elements including a lower corporate tax rate and moving to a territorial tax system, both of which will make us more competitive globally. I urge Congress to move swiftly to reform the current outdated system."

Some points highlighted by the president include:

  • cutting the corporate tax rate to 20 percent
  • cutting the highest tax rate paid by sole proprietors, S corporations and partnerships to 25 percent
  • allowing U.S. businesses to write-off equipment and capital investment for five years
  • an "American Model" designed to onshore trillions of dollars in overseas holdings
  • ending what the White House says is "the tax incentive to keep those profits offshore" by levying a "one-time low tax rate" for profits accumulated by U.S. companies in other countries
  • cutting taxes on small businesses
  • Trump is also calling for a reduction in the number of tax brackets from seven to three and other cuts "providing relief to Middle Class American families."

Taxes will be a major task that the House and Senate are set to tackle in the remaining months of Trump's first year in office. Neither body has proposed any tax reform legislation yet.