PASCRELL, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE APPROVES MEASURES TO REPEAL
PRIVATIZED TAX COLLECTION AND PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today voted in the House Ways and Means Committee to approve legislation that would reduce wasteful spending and prevent identity theft by restricting the distribution of social security numbers.
Moving forward to stop the reckless privatization of government services, the Committee approved the "Tax Collection Responsibility Act of 2007" by a vote of 23-18. The legislation is a revenue neutral measure that would repeal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) authority to enter into debt collection contracts with private companies to collect federal income taxes. Earlier in the year, the Committee held hearings investigating the use of private debt collectors to collect Federal tax revenues. During the hearing, witnesses - including the IRS Commissioner - concluded that the IRS could collect unpaid Federal taxes more efficiently than private debt collectors.
"The privatization of federal income tax collection is a proven failure," stated Pascrell. "Taxpayers have been harassed, accountability has been lost, and the cost has negated any fiscal benefit to the national economy. I am pleased have joined with the Ways and Means Committee to take another step toward eliminating this failed experiment. The United States stands to restore the integrity of our tax system and make fiscal gains by returning all tax collection responsibilities to the federal employees of the IRS."
Prior to passage of the "Tax Collection Responsibility Act," the Committee moved to markup legislation that would address the growing problem of identity theft. The "Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2007" is designed to restrict the use social security numbers by government and businesses to make private information less accessible to identity thieves. It would also implement new criminal and civil penalties for violation of the law relating to the display, sale, purchase, or misuse of a social security number.
"In just the last two years, over 150 million people have been victimized and suffered at the hands of an identity thief," stated Pascrell. "The committee has taken appropriate action to restrict the demand for social security numbers as personal identifiers, and propose tougher enforcement measures against the cowards who use other's privacy for their personal gain. I look forward to supporting this bill's advancement through the House of Representatives."