The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County and Orange County shares the pleased surprise expressed in Times editorials (May 5), "Back Room Magic," and (May 8), "Senate's Lightning Bolt," over the "magical transformation" by which the Senate Finance Committee has revived hopes that comprehensive tax reform will actually be achieved this year.
We agree that there is no perfect tax system. But as the Senate begins debate on the measure that the Finance Committee approved unanimously, we think it's important to keep in mind just how imperfect our present system is. For example:
1--In 1985, the U.S. Treasury took in almost $396 billion in income taxes--and lost more than $365 billion in revenues due to tax loopholes.
2--In 1985, corporations paid only 15% of the total income taxes collected by the federal government; individuals paid 85%.
3--Between 1980 and 1982, the number of families below the poverty line who were required to pay income tax more than doubled.