Tom Price on Tax Reform
Republican Representative (GA-6)
Voted NO on extending AMT exemptions to avoid hitting middle-income.
Congressional Summary: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to:
Wikipedia.com Explanation: The AMT became operative in 1970. It was intended to target 155 high-income households that had been eligible for so many tax benefits that they owed little or no income tax under the tax code of the time. However, when Ronald Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the AMT was greatly expanded to aim at a different set of deductions that most Americans receive.
- increase and extend through 2008 the alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amounts;
- extend through 2008 the offset of personal tax credits against AMT tax liabilities;
- treat net income and loss from an investment services partnership interest as ordinary income and loss;
- deny major integrated oil companies a tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production of oil or gas.
The AMT sets a minimum tax rate of 26% or 28% on some taxpayers so that they cannot use
certain types of deductions to lower their tax. By contrast, the rate for a corporation is 20%. Affected taxpayers are those who have what are known as "tax preference items". These include long-term capital gains, accelerated depreciation, & percentage depletion.
Because the AMT is not indexed to inflation, an increasing number of upper-middle-income taxpayers have been finding themselves subject to this tax. In 2006, an IRS report highlighted the AMT as the single most serious problem with the tax code.
For 2007, the AMT Exemption was not fully phased until [income reaches] $415,000 for joint returns. Within the $150,000 to $415,000 range, AMT liability typically increases as income increases above $150,000.
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This vote extends the AMT exemption, and hence avoids the AMT affecting more upper-middle-income people. This vote has no permanent effect on the AMT, although voting YES implies that one would support the same permanent AMT change.
Reference: Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act;
; vote number 2008-455
on Jun 25, 2008
Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes.
H.R.4351: To provide individuals temporary relief from the alternative minimum tax (AMT), via an offset of nonrefundable personal tax credits. [The AMT was originally intended to apply only to people with very high incomes, to ensure that they paid a fair amount of income tax. As inflation occurred, more people became subject to the AMT, and now it applies to people at upper-middle-class income levels as well. Both sides agree that the AMT should be changed to apply only to the wealthy; at issue in this bill is whether the cost of that change should be offset with a tax increase elsewhere or with no offset at all. -- ed.]
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. RANGEL: We have the opportunity to provide relief to upward of some 25 million people from being hit by a $50 billion tax increase, which it was never thought could happen to these people. Almost apart from this, we have an opportunity to close a very unfair tax provision, that certainly no one has come to me
to defend, which prevents a handful of people from having unlimited funds being shipped overseas under deferred compensation and escaping liability. Nobody, liberal or conservative, believes that these AMT taxpayers should be hit by a tax that we didn't intend. But also, no one has the guts to defend the offshore deferred compensation. So what is the problem?
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. McCRERY: This is a bill that would patch the AMT, and then increase other taxes for the patch costs. Republicans are for patching the AMT. Where we differ is over the question of whether we need to pay for the patch by raising other taxes. The President's budget includes a 1-year patch on the AMT without a pay-for. That is what the Senate passed by a rather large vote very recently, 88-5. The President has said he won't sign the bill that is before us today. Republicans have argued against applying PAYGO to the AMT patch. In many ways PAYGO has shown itself to be a farce.
Reference: AMT Relief Act;
; vote number 2007-1153
on Dec 12, 2007
Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends.
Vote to reduce federal spending by $56.1 billion over five years by retaining a reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends, as well as.
Reference: Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act;
Bill HR 4297
; vote number 2005-621
on Dec 8, 2005
- Decreasing the number of people that will be required to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
- Allowing for deductions of state and local general sales taxes through 2007 instead of 2006
- Lengthening tax credits for research expenses
- Increasing the age limit for eligibility for food stamp recipients from 25 to 35 years
- Continuing reduced tax rates of 15% and 5% on capital gains and dividends through 2010
- Extending through 2007 the expense allowances for environmental remediation costs (the cost of cleanup of sites where petroleum products have been released or disposed)
Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation.
Price scores 0% by the CTJ on taxationissues
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 CTJ scores as follows:
About CTJ (from their website, www.ctj.org):
- 0% - 20%: opposes progressive taxation (approx. 235 members)
- 21% - 79%: mixed record on progressive taxation (approx. 39 members)
- 80%-100%: favors progressive taxation (approx. 190 members)
Citizens for Tax Justice, founded in 1979, is not-for-profit public interest research and advocacy organization focusing on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact upon our nation. CTJ's mission is to give ordinary people a greater voice in the development of tax laws.
Against the armies of special interest lobbyists for corporations and the wealthy, CTJ fights for:
Source: CTJ website 06n-CTJ on Dec 31, 2006
- Fair taxes for middle and low-income families
- Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share
- Closing corporate tax loopholes
- Adequately funding important government services
- Reducing the federal debt
- Taxation that minimizes distortion of economic markets
Repeal the Death Tax.
Price signed H.R.205
A BILL to repeal the Federal estate and gift taxes:
Source: Death Tax Repeal Act 09-HR205 on Jan 6, 2009
- Subtitle B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes) is hereby repealed.
- The repeal shall apply to estates of decedents dying, gifts made, and generation-skipping transfers made after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Replace income tax & employment tax with FairTax.
Price signed H.R.25 & S.296
Source: Fair Tax Act 09-HR25 on Jan 6, 2009
- Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax.
- Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services.
- Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2011, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years.
- Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions.
- Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2013.
- Establishes in the Department of the Treasury: (1) an Excise Tax Bureau to administer excise taxes not administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and (2) a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax.
- Terminates the sales tax imposed by this Act if the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this Act.
Taxpayer Protection Pledge: no new taxes.
Price signed Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge"
Politicians often run for office saying they won't raise taxes, but then quickly turn their backs on the taxpayer. The idea of the Pledge is simple enough: Make them put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing.
In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. While ATR has the role of promoting and monitoring the Pledge, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is actually made to a candidate's constituents, who are entitled to know where candidates stand before sending them to the capitol. Since the Pledge is a prerequisite for many voters, it is considered binding as long as an individual holds the office for which he or she signed the Pledge.
Since its rollout with the endorsement of President Reagan in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts.
Source: Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" 10-ATR on Aug 12, 2010
No European-style VAT (value-added tax).
Price signed H.RES.1346
RESOLUTION Opposing the imposition of a value-added tax:
Source: Opposing the Imposition of a VAT 10-HRs1346 on May 11, 2010
- Whereas a value-added tax (VAT) is a type of sales tax that is assessed on goods at every stage of production;
- Whereas a VAT is a hidden tax that is ultimately passed along to consumers, but is embedded into the price of goods and services and therefore not transparent to the consumer;
- Whereas the average tax burden levied by the Federal Government since 1980 has been 18% of GDP;
- Whereas, within the next 15 years, Federal taxes are projected to rise to the highest level in US history;
- Whereas adding a VAT on top of the existing Federal income tax would increase the burden on United States taxpayers to unprecedented levels;
- Whereas the average VAT rate in Europe has risen from 5% when the tax was first introduced in the 1960s to 20% today;
- Whereas European countries that have imposed a VAT have seen their total tax burden rise to an average of over 40% of GDP;
- Whereas such high levels of
taxation and spending crowd out private investment, which stifles economic growth and leads to chronically high levels of unemployment;
- Whereas the IRS has calculated that US taxpayers spend approximately $200 billion and 7.6 billion hours a year to comply with Federal tax laws;
- Whereas a VAT would only add another layer of complexity and compliance costs to a fundamentally unsound tax system;
- Whereas the burden of a VAT would fall most heavily on low-income and middle-class Americans; and
- Whereas a VAT would do nothing to restore fiscal accountability in Washington, but would simply bankroll wasteful and inefficient Federal Government spending:
- Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That--
- It is the sense of the House of Representatives that imposing a value-added tax would be a massive tax increase that would cripple families on fixed income and only further push back the US economic recovery; and
- the House of Representatives opposes a value-added tax.
Member of House Ways and Means Committee.
Price is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee
The Committee of Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee cannot serve on any other House Committees, though they can apply for a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:
The U.S. Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the House of Representatives. Since House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee, the committee is very influential, as is its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.
Source: U.S. House of Representatives website, www.house.gov 11-HC-WM on Feb 3, 2011
- Social Security
- Unemployment benefits
- Enforcement of child support laws
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal welfare program
- Foster care and adoption programs
Replace income tax & estate tax with 23% sales tax.
Price co-sponsored Fair Tax Act of 2011
Congress finds the Federal income tax--
- retards economic growth and has reduced the standard of living
- impedes the international competitiveness of US industry
- reduces savings and investment by taxing income multiple times
- slows the capital formation necessary for real wages to steadily increase
- lowers productivity
- imposes unacceptable and unnecessary administrative and compliance costs
- is unfair and inequitable
- unnecessarily intrudes upon the privacy and civil rights of US citizens
- impedes upward social mobility.
Findings Relating to National Sales Tax- Congress finds further that a broad-based national sales tax on goods and services purchased for final consumption--
- is similar in many respects to the sales and use taxes in place in 45 of the 50 States
- will promote savings and investment
- will promote fairness
- will promote economic growth
- will raise the standard of living
- will increase investment
- will enhance productivity and international competitiveness
- will reduce administrative burdens on the American taxpayer
- will improve upward social mobility; and
- will respect the privacy interests and civil rights of taxpayers.
REPEAL OF THE INCOME TAX, PAYROLL TAXES, AND ESTATE AND GIFT TAXES
Source: H.R.25 11-HR025 on Jan 5, 2011
- Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to income taxes and self-employment taxes) is repealed.
- Subtitle C of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to payroll taxes and withholding of income taxes) is repealed.
- Funding of Social Security Trust Funds [will be] from general revenue
- Subtitle B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to estate and gift taxes) is repealed.
- IMPOSITION OF SALES TAX: There is hereby imposed a tax on the use or consumption in the US of taxable property or services.
- In the calendar year 2013, the rate of tax is 23% of the gross payments for the taxable property or service.
Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Price signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge against raising taxes
[The ATR, Americans for Tax Reform, run by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, ask legislators to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in each election cycle. Their self-description:]
In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. Since its rollout in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge.
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my district and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar
for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
Opponents' Opinion (from wikipedia.com):In Nov. 2011, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that Congressional Republicans "are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist. They're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader." Since Norquist's pledge binds signatories to opposing deficit reduction agreements that include any element of increased tax revenue, some Republican deficit hawks now retired from office have stated that Norquist has become an obstacle to deficit reduction. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been particularly critical, describing Norquist's position as "no taxes, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell."
Source: Taxpayer Protection Pledge 12-ATR on Jan 1, 2012
Replace income tax and IRS with FairTax.
Price co-sponsored H.R.25 & S.155
Congressional Summary: This bill imposes a national sales tax in lieu of the current income and corporate income tax, employment taxes, and estate and gift taxes. The rate of the sales tax will be 23% in 2017, with adjustments in subsequent years. U.S. residents receive a monthly sales tax rebate (Family Consumption Allowance) based upon family size and poverty guidelines. No funding is allowed for the operations of the Internal Revenue Service after FY2019. Finally, the FairTax terminates if the 16th Amendment to the Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within 7 years.
Supporters reasons for voting YEA: Rep. MORAN: I am all on board on tax reform, but the best solution is not tinkering with the current system; it is an overhaul of the current Tax Code. The FairTax, in my view, brings two goals front and center: to pass on to the next generation of Americans the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution, and the
opportunity for every American to live the American dream.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (by FairTaxWarrior.com):
Source: FairTax Act sponsored by 6 Senators and 64 Reps 15_H025 on Jan 6, 2015
Criticisms from The Left
- The FairTax rate is really 30%, not the 23% proponents say.
- It's an additional national sales tax.
- It's really just a windfall tax cut for the rich.
- A sales tax is regressive, and punishes the poor unfairly.
- It's just a scheme to let corporations escape paying taxes.
Criticisms from The Right:
- The FairTax does nothing to cut government spending.
- The 23% rate is too high.
- It 's the largest welfare increase in history [via the Family Consumption Allowance]
- The FairTax will negatively impact the housing market [by removing the mortgage deduction].
- Black market activity will increase.
- The IRS won't really be abolished.
- The Flat (Income) Tax is a better option.
- It will be a nightmare to transition to The FairTax from an Income Tax.
Death Tax is a pernicious double tax.
Price voted YEA Death Tax Repeal Act
Heritage Action Summary: This bill would repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as cut the top gift tax rate.
Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (4/16/2015): Collectively, these measures repeal the pernicious double tax known as the "death tax," and result in a tax cut of $269 billion over 10 years. The death tax hurts economic growth and therefore limits the ability of Americans to prosper. Repealing the death tax would generate an average of 18,000 jobs annually and increase the overall net worth of American households by $300 billion a year. The federal government should encourage, not punish, Americans who work and pay taxes their whole lives, save enough to support themselves through retirement, and retain the ability to fulfill the American Dream by passing along a better life to their children.
Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recommendation to vote YES: (robertreich.org 6/4/2015):
At a time of historic economic inequality, it should be a no-brainer to raise a tax on inherited wealth for the very rich. Yet there's a move among some members of Congress to abolish it altogether. Today the estate tax reaches only the richest 2/10 of 1%, and applies only to dollars in excess of $10.86 million for married couples or $5.43 million for individuals. That means if a couple leaves to their heirs $10,860,001, they now pay the estate tax on $1. The current estate tax rate is 40%, so that would be 40 cents. Yet according to these members of Congress, that's still too much. Our democracy's Founding Fathers did not want a privileged aristocracy. Yet that's the direction we're going in. The tax on inherited wealth is one of the major bulwarks against it. That tax should be increased and strengthened.
Legislative outcome: Passed by the House 240-179-12; never came to vote in Senate.
Source: Supreme Court case 15-H1105 argued on Apr 16, 2015
Simplicity & fairness: 3 tax brackets with lower top rate.
Price signed tax simplicity & fairness: 3 brackets with lower top rate
Our Challenge Our tax code is a mess, and that's putting it lightly. Multiple brackets. High rates. Special interest breaks everywhere. Rules and regulations that are too complicated to understand. It costs more and more each year just to do your taxes, let alone pay them. All of this drags people down and leaves businesses buried in paperwork and compliance problems. So instead of promoting growth, our tax code is pushing jobs overseas. And the agency charged with overseeing all of this--the IRS--has repeatedly violated the trust of the American taxpayer.
Our Vision We need a new tax code. It needs to be fair and simple for everyone. It should be so simple that most Americans can do their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard. Our tax code should be built for growth.
- Simplicity and fairness. Our plan makes the tax code simpler, fairer, and flatter, so it's easier to have peace of mind at critical moments in life.
Consolidate the system down to three tax brackets, and lower the top individual income tax rate to 33 percent.
- Simplify tax filing for families by creating a larger standard deduction and a larger child and dependent tax credit.
- Jobs and growth. Our plan makes it easier to create jobs, raise wages, and expand opportunity for all Americans.
- Cut taxes on small businesses by creating a separate, low tax rate of 25 percent for many on Main Street.
- Cut taxes on savings and investment by allowing families and individuals to deduct 50 percent of the dividends, capital gains, and interest received from stocks and mutual funds.
- A service first IRS. Our plan matches a simpler, fairer tax code with a simpler, fairer IRS that puts taxpayers first. Clear out the bureaucracy by doing away with all the rules, regulations, forms, and instructions that won't be needed with a simpler, fairer tax code.
Other candidates on Tax Reform:
Tom Price on other issues:
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Senate races 2019-20:
Senate Votes (analysis)
Page last updated: Jul 18, 2020