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Congress of the United States

JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION
Ilashington, BC 20515-6453

Honorable Vic Fazio
Page 5
December 15, 1993

Thus, the staff finds it necessary to upgrade computer software and hardware constantly to enable the staff to provide the service required and expected by the Members of Congress.

In that regard, I anticipate that a few Joint Committee staff members will be replacing their existing PC's with desktop work stations during fiscal year 1995. The technology of the desktop work station is already 5-10 times faster than the Joint Committee staff's current PC's. The work station will substantially improve the efficiency of the analysts working on computationally intensive projects. The cost of this computer power will continue to decrease, but each desktop work station will cost from $20,000 to $40,000.

2. Personnel Bxpenses

I have requested a total increase in the appropriation attributable to personnel expenses of $370,000 (6.9%). Please note that this amount represents an increase of 6.9% for 3 fiscal years because of the funding freeze and reduction for fiscal years 1993 and 1994. I believe this modest increase in the appropriation for personnel expenses is the minimum amount that will enable the Joint Committee staff to continue to hold qualified professional staff members.

Number of authorized positions. The Joint Committee on Taxation has 77 authorized staff positions for fiscal year 1994. As of December 1, 1993, 72 staff positions are filled. Although, the total number of staff positions is below the authorized level, this situation will only be temporary. Three staff economists left the staff at the end of the summer. Because economists are typically available on an academic year basis, we expect to interview prospective job applicants in January 1994' for summer 1995 starting dates.

b. Calculation of payroll base. --The $370,000 requested increase in the appropriation for personnel expenses was calculated based on the Joint Committee on Taxation's actual payroll for December 1993 with certain adjustments. A detailed Congress of the United States

JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION
Uashington, DC 20515-6453

Honorable Vic Fazio
Page 6
December 15, 1993

The Joint Committee staff's December 1993 payroll is $430,500. This payroll is adjusted to reflect the filling of all vacant positions at an estimated monthly expense of approximately $27,400. The assumed monthly payroll with these adjustments will be $457,900; this reflects an anticipated, annualized payroll expense of $5,495,000.

Meritorious/longevity increases. --An additional $270,000 is requested to provide average merit increases of 4.9% effective for fiscal year 1995. This modest amount reflects an amount that will effectively cover merit increases for 3 fiscal years (1993, 1994, and 1995).

C.

As you know, the Joint Committee on Taxation professional staff, comprised of certified public accountants, Ph.D. economists, and lawyers with private law practice or significant government experience, agree to work for the Joint Committee on Taxation at salaries substantially below those available in the private sector. During 1992 and 1993, a number of economists and lawyers (with significant experience), including the Chief of Staff, left the Joint Committee staff to pursue other career options. Unless an adequate increase in the Joint Committee's appropriation is approved, it is likely that there will be further departures. Ultimately, this turnover of highly qualified, experienced staff who are replaced with less experienced staff members will undermine the ability of the Joint Committee staff to respond to Members of Congress.

The Joint Committee staff performs a unique and valuable function in providing the Congress with independent, expert technical assistance in all aspects of the tax legislative process. The Appropriations Committee has recognized in the past that the Joint Committee on Taxation must be able to attract and retain an adequate number of highly qualified professionals. I appreciate this recognition. However, if the Joint Committee is to meet its staffing needs over time, it is essential that the requisite level of funding be maintained on

Congress of the United States

JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION
Washington, DC 20515-6453

Honorable Vic Fazio
Page 7
December 15, 1993

It is unlikely that the Joint Committee on Taxation will be able to pay competitive salaries in the short term. However, if the staff is going to be able to retain qualified employees for at least reasonable periods of time, the staff must have the resources to provide modest merit increases. c. Conclusion.

Mr. Chairman, as the Congress continues to search for ways to balance the budget and reduce the deficit, we will continue to rely on the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation to provide us with their technical support. The appropriation request for fiscal year 1995 is intended merely to provide the necessary resources for the Joint Committee staff to respond promptly and adequately to the requests for assistance that it receives from the Members of Congress.

I recognize fully the budgetary constraints that make your work so difficult. At the same time, I know you appreciate the current role that the Joint Committee staff plays in the analysis and development of tax legislation. I am deeply concerned that a failure to provide the Joint Connittee on Taxation with its requested appropriation will hinder seriously the ability of the Joint Committee staff to respond to the needs of the Members of Congress. Consequently, I respectfully urge the Members of your Subcommittee to respond favorably to the Joint Committee's request for funding for fiscal year 1995.

Sincerely

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Dan kostenkowski
Chairman
Joint Committee on Taxation

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Payroll (December, 1993)...

Adjustment for hires during FY 1994.

27,415

Anticipated payroll (October, 1994)... -457,915

-22,500

Meritorious/longevitity increases.....

Appropriation request for FY 1995

Annualized

$430,500 $5,166,000

329,000

5,495,000

270,000

Attachment A
Joint Committee on Taxation
Revenue Estimate Requests

150 120

348

474 420

900

1286 1290 1286

1461

2350 2380

T

T

1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993

Calendar Year

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