US President Obama’s reinsurance tax proposals could damage the US economy, according to a study by Arthur Laffer, a former member of Reagan’s economic policy advisory board. According to the report, which was published by the Laffer Centre, attempts to deny a tax reduction for certain reinsurance premiums paid to foreign-based affiliates by domestic insurers would result in economic damage to consumers and businesses by raising the cost of their insurance.
A proposal in President Barack Obama’s FY 2016 budget seeks to deny a tax deduction for reinsurance premiums paid to foreign affiliates by domestic insurers. The proposal closely resembles legislation introduced in Congresses by US Representatives Richard Neal (D-MA) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that would drastically raise insurance rates across the country. The President’s budget proposal and the Neal-Pascrell-Menendez legislation would impose an unnecessary and costly tariff on the companies that help spread insurance risks globally. This ability to spread risk has been especially beneficial for consumers and businesses in areas subject to hurricanes, earthquakes, crop failures and other forms of disaster.
More than 100 independent experts, state government officials, business owners, and associations have publicly filed opposition letters to these tax proposals. Additionally, two economic research firms, the Tax Foundation and the Brattle Group, have published independent studies pointing out the potential economic consequences of the proposals.