President Reagan signed legislation Friday making several refinements in the landmark tax overhaul of 1986 and providing a "bill of rights" for U.S. taxpayers.
Although White House officials had said they had qualms about the legislation, particularly in connection with a $50 million federal seizure of property next to historic Civil War battlefields in northern Virginia, the terse announcement of Reagan's approval carried no statement of presidential misgivings.The "Tax Corrections Act" was one of few remaining pieces of legislation from the last Congress Reagan had not disposed of. Among the bills he must still act upon is legislation stepping up the U.S. effort to curb drug abuse.
The bill originally was designed to clear up confusing language and correct errors in the tax overhaul enacted in 1986. But the new legislation was amended repeatedly to extend some expiring benefits, add some new ones for selected groups, and raise taxes to finance the benefits.
The measure would have no effect on the federal deficit. Although it would cut taxes by $4.1 billion over three years, it would raise others by the same amount.
The bill includes a "taxpayers' bill of rights" to rein in what some lawmakers view as an overly aggressive Internal Revenue Service.