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The Journal Gazette

  • In this Sept. 22, 2017, photo President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:00 am

Trump to talk tax reform in Indianapolis

To address invited crowd Wednesday

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

President Donald Trump will unveil his plan to overhaul the federal income tax code during a Wednesday visit to Indianapolis.

Trump is scheduled to speak to an invited audience at 5 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday at a media briefing that Trump will discuss “specific proposed rates for individuals, small businesses and corporations, and he will also discuss the elimination of loopholes that have rigged the current tax code in favor of the wealthy and well-connected.”

Sanders said the tax plan “will deliver massive job creation and economic growth, and we are confident the American people will be very excited about what we are proposing.”

Washington media have reported that leaked details of the plan include reducing the top tax rates from 39.6 percent to 35 percent for individuals, from 35 percent to 20 percent for corporations and from 39.6 percent to 25 percent for small businesses.

Trump also is expected to recommend doubling the standard income tax deduction for individuals and married couples. His challenge will be explaining whether and how the cuts will be paid for or whether they will swell the federal budget deficit, which the Treasure Department said was $674 billion through August.

Vice President Mike Pence visited an Anderson technology park Friday to tout an unspecified tax cut and urge Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., to support it. Donnelly, who was in attendance, is among moderate Democrats whose votes can make or break legislation in the Senate, where many bills typically require at least 60 votes to advance and Republicans have a fragile 52-48 majority.

A White House official told The Journal Gazette that Donnelly has been invited to join Trump on Air Force One for his trip to Indianapolis, as have Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Reps. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, and Susan Brooks, R-5th.

Donnelly's office said his availability will depend on the Senate's schedule. The chamber might vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, although GOP support for the measure has dwindled to the point that it lacks enough votes to pass.

The White House said Indiana business, government and political leaders will be available before and after Trump's speech to discuss his tax plan with media. They will include Kip Tom, the leader of Tom Farms Inc., in Kosciusko County, one of the largest corn and soybean producers in the state. Tom was a member of a committee that advised Trump's 2016 campaign on agriculture policy.

The administration official said Trump's appearance at the state fairgrounds will be “more intimate” than some events and rallies where he speaks.

The Farm Bureau Building has an auditorium that seats fewer than 1,000 people, plus two halls that can hold slightly more than 400 people each.

bfrancisco@jg.net