Yin to Lead Staff of Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation
George K. Yin, a noted authority on taxation and the Howard W. Smith Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, has been named Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, one of the most influential tax positions in the country. The 10-member Joint Committee is composed of the five senior members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the five senior members of the Senate Finance Committee. The Joint Committee's nonpartisan staff assists in every aspect of Congress's consideration of new tax legislation and oversight of existing tax laws.
"I'm very excited about this opportunity and look forward to the challenge," said Yin, who will begin working full-time on the Hill when the current semester ends. He will head a 70-person staff, including roughly 50 lawyers and economists. "One reason I took the job is because of the tremendous reputation of the staff," he said. "It is a real honor and privilege to work with them and lead them."
Yin said he was first approached with feelers just prior to the start of the semester and indicated that he was committed to teaching until May. The leaders of the Committee, Rep. William Thomas (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), understood Yin's need to fulfill his academic obligations. "The staff is nonpartisan, and I think that made my academic background plus Hill experience attractive to them."
Yin served as tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee from 1983 until 1986, when he joined the law faculty at the University of Florida. He came to U.Va. in 1994. He has been an advisor to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the National Committee on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service, and the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. From 1994 to 1999, he was reporter to the American Law Institute's federal tax project on the taxation of private business enterprises. He has testified before Congress on the tax policy aspects of mergers and acquisitions and on the design of the earned income tax credit program. At U.Va. he has taught corporate tax, partnership tax, federal income tax, and international taxation, and his scholarship has encompassed diverse topics such as corporate tax integration, the earned income tax credit, consumption taxes, partnership taxation, and corporate tax shelters.
Yin will be on leave from the University during his time in D.C., although his commitment to the committee is open-ended. Yin said he took the job primarily because he believes in public service. "It is also shaping up as a very important time in the tax area, with the Bush Administration proposals and continuing concern about tax shelters as evidenced by the recent Enron report."
Yin and his wife will move to Northern Virginia but they will not sell their home in Charlottesville. "Certainly our hope is to return to U.Va.," he said. "Dean Jeffries and the law faculty have been wonderfully supportive throughout this experience. We are very grateful and will deeply miss the community here while we're away."