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Included are the budgets for the House and Senate, other joint items, the Congres sional Research Service, Office of Technology Assessment, Congressional Budget Office, the General Accounting Office, Government Printing Office, and the Architect of the Capitol. The appropriation request for fiscal year 1985 budget authority is $1,398,818,000; outlays are estimated at $1,400,415,000. Fiscal Year 1984 Supplemental
The budget request for fiscal year 1984 supplementals (Senate items included) is $199,679,000 in budget authority which is expected to spend out $65,297,000 in fiscal year 1984 outlays.
MARCH 15 REPORT TABLE_SUBCOMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS
(Fiscal year 1985, dollars in thousands]
Education, Training, Employment and Social Services
General Government (Function 800):
2,044 2,028 16,000 15,980
273,178 273,178 460,755 457,083 84,815 84,407 17,650 17,505 95,414 111,198 41,066 40,664 123,895 116,638 328,779 326,498
16,000 15,980 1,443,596 1,445,179
Including Senate Items
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1984.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION
HON. DAN ROSTENKOWSKI, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. Fazio. We will now come to order and consider the budget reguest for the Joint Committee on Taxation of $3,622,000 for fiscal year 1985. Mr. Chairman, thank you for joining us. We will be very brief, because your budget is very austere, as usual. If you would like to make a statement to the subcommittee, we would be happy to have it at this time.
Mr. ROSTENKOWSKI. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
I would like to submit my statement for the record and answer any questions.
The statement of Mr. Rostenkowski follows:
STATEMENT OF HON. DAN ROSTENKOWSKI, VICE CHAIRMAN, JOINT COMMITTEE ON
TAXATION Mr. Chairman, I am here today to discuss with your Subcommittee the fiscal 1985 budget request for the Joint Committee on Taxation.
As indicated in the letter to the Subcommittee dated January 19, 1984, the Joint Committee's fiscal 1985 budget request is $3,622,000, comprised of $3,101,500 for personnel and $520,500 for nonpersonnel costs. This is a $150,000 increase over the fiscal 1984 budget request; $129,500 of this increase is for personnel and $20,500 of this increase is for nonpersonnel costs. The $129,500 increase for personnel is attributable to the effects of fiscal 1984 pay adjustments, and meritorious promotions. The $20,500 net increase in the non-personnel funding total reflects decreases in consultant and equipment rental expenses, as well as expected increases in price and processing of computer services, increased costs of publications, and in miscellaneous expenses.
EXPLANATION OF FISCAL 1985 BUDGET REQUEST General
Mr Chairman, the fiscal 1985 budget request for the Joint Committee on Taxation of $3,622,000 compares to the fiscal 1984 appropriation amount of $3,472,000. The fiscal 1985 increase is thus $150,000, reflecting the fiscal 1984 Federal pay adjustments, and meritorious promotions of $129,500 and a net increase in non-personnel costs of $20,500. This is summarized as follows:
Estimated fiscal year 1985 increase over fiscal year 1984 appropriation level (Public
Law 98-51) A. Personnel increases: 1. Fiscal 1984 Federal pay adjustment and meritorious promotions..
$129,500 Subtotal, fiscal year 1985 personel increase over fiscal year 1984....... 129,500
B. Non-Personnel increases (decreases):
1. Increase in computer costs .
Subtotal, fiscal year 1985 non-personnel increase over fiscal year
1,000 (10,000) (39,500)
Total increase in fiscal year 1985 over fiscal year 1984 ........ 150,000 Personnel costs
The increased funds requested for personnel are for the fiscal 1984 Federal pay adjustment and meritiorious promotions. There is no request for increased number of personnel for fiscal 1985, which would remain at the fiscal 1984 authorization level of 68 staff positions. Non-Personnel costs
The increase in the non-personnel funding total reflects expected increases in price and processing of computer services, in increased costs of publications, and increases in miscellaneous expenses. The non-personnel funding total also reflects de creases in consultant and equipment rental expenses.
SUMMARY OF FISCAL 1984 AND 1985 BUDGET AMOUNTS
In summary, Mr.Chairman, the Joint Committee's present budget estimates for fiscal years
1984 and 1985 are as follows:
As of the present time, we do not foresee additional program needs for the four fiscal years folowing fiscal 1984. However, this may change if added personnel or additional computer-related tax analysis are necessary to meet the Joint Committee's future workload.
ATTACHMENT—COMPARISON OF ESTIMATED FISCAL 1984 NONPERSONAL COSTS FOR THE JOINT
COMMITTEE ON TAXATION
Fiscal 1984 level
Fiscal 1985 estimate
3,500 10,000 242,000 28,000 40,000 174,500
3,500 10,000 306,000 33,000 30,000 135,000
INCREASE FOR COMPUTER SERVICES
Mr. Fazio. The only increases are for computer services and you are making a number of other savings, so that the net non-personnel increase is $20,500? I really can't find anything to nitpick, Mr. Chairman. It looks good to me.
However, Mr. Murtha made a proposal that when we do your portrait for the Ways and Means Committee, we use this size frame back here. I would be happy to write that into the report language.
Mr. MURTHA. Anything the Chairman wants. If he wants the whole wall, we can do it.
Mr. Fazio. We can do a mural this time.
Mr. ROSTENKOWSKI. Mr. Chairman, I urge you to favorably consider our recommendations. If you need me for no further discussion, I will be glad to withdraw.
Mr. Fazio. We might have a question or two for the staff. We won't beat up on them in your absence.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE IRS
Mr. LEWIS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the Chairman a question.
Vic and I, Mr. Chairman, have been friends for years. We believe in good government and he has assured me you have similar attitudes. I would like to, as an aside, raise a point that maybe we can discuss more informally at another time.
For the record, in January of 1984, in a letter to the subcommittee, your Chief of Staff, Mr. Brockway, indicated the responsibility of the IRS. I may be missing something on the floor, but from time to time when that bill comes to the floor that appropriates funds for the IRS, there have been amendments around that would specifically, at least, suggest to the IRS that they could be more tactful in their dealings with the average citizen in their lust for funds.
It has been suggested and I wouldn't want to indicate directly that any of our staff would ever lobby on the Floor. But, it has been suggested that maybe they lean towards opposing amendments directing the IRS to be more tactful. I just bring it to your attention at this point in time. And hope we could discuss this in more detail at another time.
Mr. ROSTENKOWSKI. Let me make this observation. On numerous occasions we have suggested a larger staff for the IRS because compliance is down. I think they are presently at their lowest point in audit coverage. Any time there is suggestion that we increase the amount of IRS appropriations or the number of IRS employees, it is very severely defeated on the floor of the House of Representatives.
I think that we have a problem and on every occasion I have talked to the Commissioner I have raised the point, formally and informally, that it is a delicate area and people genuinely become irritated, and they focus on me because of the association we have and the jurisdiction that we have.
Mr. Fazio. It is a hundred billion dollars a year in uncollected revenue due us? Audits are down from five percent to one percent of all returns?
Mr. BROCKWAY. It is something like one and a half percent audit coverage right now.
Mr. MYERS. Total audits or random audits?
Mr. BROCKWAY. That is total. For large corporations, the IRS will typically audit all of them, but for regular taxpayers, it is very low right now. It has been dropping down steadily. First, there are limits on personnel; second, there are more taxpayers; and third, there are many more complicated returns involving more complicated transactions to audit.
AUDIT CERTAIN LEVELS OF INCOME
Mr. LEWIS. I don't know, before you became the Chairman, but somewhere the Congress directed the IRS to, on a random basis, audit over a three year period certain levels of income through the process. Before I came to the Congress, I had the honor of being so designated at random. I am not sure if the average citizen has had that experience, but I remember spending a couple of thousand dollars for my CP, and it only made a $25 difference. People obviously are very, very sensitive to this. I just raise it because I want you to know I am interested.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
USE OF COMPUTER SERVICE FUNDS
David, could you tell us what you are going to do with the $306,000 requested for computer services?
Mr. BROCKWAY. We use the computer services for revenue estimates.
Mr. Fazio. People are going to be asking for more and more estimates?
Mr. BROCKWAY. That's correct.
Mr. BROCKWAY. We generally use a Treasury computer for which we pay a charge. On our word processing system, which was installed a year ago, we have had a lot of support from HIS.
Mr. Fazio. Basically, this is cost of reimbursement for the Treasury?
Mr. BROCKWAY. A good part of it is computer time.
Mr. Conte has submitted a question for the record for you to respond to.
[The question and response follow:)