- - Monday, April 16, 2012

The House’s top tax writer said Monday that he will listen to Mitt Romney’s proposals for limiting tax breaks for the wealthy, but did not commit himself to adopting plans offered by the likely Republican presidential nominee.

“I’m going to listen very carefully” to Mr. Romney’s ideas, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, told reporters.

Mr. Camp spoke a day after other reporters overheard Mr. Romney telling people at a private fundraiser in Florida that, to pay for his proposed income tax rate cuts, he would probably end the tax break high earners can take for mortgages on second homes.

Mr. Romney said he might also end the deductions for state and local income taxes, and for state property taxes for those making the largest incomes. He did not specify how he would define high-income individuals.

The candidate also said he would seek unspecified potential cuts from the departments of Education, and Housing and Urban Development.

Mr. Romney has said he wants to keep all the broad tax cuts from expiring that were first approved under President George W. Bush. He also has said he wants to reduce tax rates by 20 percent but has not previously offered much detail about how he would pay for the costs of doing that.

Democrats have favored extending the Bush tax cuts, but not for the wealthiest Americans. Tax treatment of the rich has become a defining issue in this year’s presidential and congressional campaigns as the two parties vie for votes, with each arguing that it has the best ideas for reviving the economy.

“Obviously as a presidential candidate, he is going to have some ideas on tax reform as well,” Mr. Camp said when asked about Mr. Romney’s comments on tax breaks for second homes and state and local taxes. “They’re not necessarily views the committee has adopted yet. But we’re going to be looking at all those items.”

NORTH CAROLINA

Democrats’ director resigns, denies any harassment

RALEIGH — The executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party has resigned amid concern among party activists about high turnover at the party headquarters and harassment allegations there.

Jay Parmley, who became the top administrator last year after holding a similar post in South Carolina, resigned Sunday.

He wrote in a resignation letter that he had “never harassed any employee at any time at the (state party) or in any other job.”

State party leaders raised concerns after emails circulated last week that mentioned the allegations, which the party has not detailed.

State party chairman David Parker agreed that the issues involving Mr. Parmley were becoming a political distraction, particularly in an election year.

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