US: Trump releases final 2018 budget proposal

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President Trump released his budget proposal for the FY 2018 on May 23, 2017, expanding on the budget blueprint he released in March. The Trump Administration proposed to Congress a $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget that aims to balance the federal budget over 10 years by promoting economic growth through tax reform, regulatory relief, and infrastructure investments, and by significantly reducing federal spending.

The budget does not provide additional details on the tax reform principles announced on April 27, 2017 by Administration officials. The Administration’s tax reform principles call for lowering business tax rates to 15 percent, moving to a territorial tax system from the current worldwide system, enacting a one-time repatriation tax on the accumulated foreign earnings of US companies, and repealing “most special interest tax breaks.” The Administration’s reform principles also call for moving from seven to three individual tax brackets, with rates set at 10 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent; lowering the top investment tax rate to 20 percent, after repeal of the 3.8 percent net investment tax; and increasing the standard deduction.

The Budget Proposal contains several significant provisions regarding nuclear energy. The proposal would provide $120 million to the US Department of Energy (DOE) to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and initiate a robust interim storage program. The Budget Proposal is silent regarding energy-related tax provisions such as the production tax credit (PTC) and the investment tax credit (ITC), as well as the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program.

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