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Tax breaks for beer, unborn children and lawmakers are among goodies in Republican bill

Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

"A child in utero means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb," the summary says.

The provision did not pass special Senate rules, which prevent budget measures like the tax bill from veering too deeply into policy changes. It will likely fall out of a final bill.

Private jets

Private jet owners have long fought the IRS to avoid a special excise tax that applies to commercial flights, and the Senate bill would permanently allow them to avoid it.

The bill prohibits any new taxes from being imposed on aircraft owners for money spent on "services related to maintenance and support of the aircraft owner's aircraft, or flights on the aircraft owner's aircraft."

Although Democrats have condemned the provision as a tax break for private jets, the National Business Aviation Association argued it simply clarifies existing tax law.


The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would amount to less than $50 million in potential lost revenue over the decade.

The addition seems like it might fly in the House and be accepted in the final product.

Beer and wine

The Senate bill provides a tax cut on beer, wine and distillers -- which lobbyists say is the first since the Civil War -- with a slimmed-down version of the popular and bipartisan Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.


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