In AR, eliminated marriage penalty & bracket creep
In all my political life, the one thing I had not been accused of--and folks had called me all sorts of things--was being a "liberal" or a "big-government conservative" [but the Club For Growth was labeling me that].
We tried to get out the facts through emails and our website and interviews. In fact, it feels worthwhile to publish a short list of accomplishments here. During my tenure as governor we:
Eliminated the marriage penalty from the tax code (1997)
Eliminated the capital gains tax on the sale of a home (1997)
Tax system punishes people for working & productivity
Q: Your campaign chairman said, “At the end of the day, we’ll do whatever we can to help John McCain in the fall. If he wins, great. If not, the game starts all over again. It may be open again in four years, and Mike is 51. He’s got a long way to go
before his political career is over.” Are you thinking ahead to 2012 or beyond?
A: No, I’m really not thinking about what’s going to happen in four, eight or years beyond. I’m thinking about what’s going to happen to this country. And I’m very concerne
about it. I’m concerned that we are going to see our taxes go up. That will kill small business. It will kill free enterprise. It will create even more of a trade imbalance. Look, we need some big ideas when it comes to the economy. There are a lot of
Americans struggling, and they are not going to get better, with the kind of tax system that punishes people for working and punishes them for their productivity. That’s got to stop, or we are going to just send this nation’s economy into a spiral.
Q: When you announced for president, I asked if would you sign a pledge promising not to raise taxes. And you answered, “I think it’s a very dangerous position to make pledges that are outside the most important pledge you make, and that is the oath you
take to uphold the Constitution and protect the people of the United States.” 33 days later, I read, “Huckabee signed the Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge on March 2nd, 2007 during the Conservative Political Action Conference.”
It seems that political expediency got a hold of you.
A: The reason I ended up signing the pledge, is that I realized that what I was signing was to say that we would not raise marginal tax rates, and frankly, I see no reason or no purpose ever that we
need to raise marginal tax rates in this country.
Q: But, in all candor, you did not modify your position in order to play to the conservative base?
A: It wasn’t a play. It was that I realized that my position had to mature in this area.
Q: What do you say about President Bush’s tax cuts, in the context of McCain’s early votes against but favoring them now?
A: Well, I supported the president’s tax cuts then. I support them now. I think anytime you can cut taxes, it is a good thing.
And I don’t believe that those tax cuts only affected those at the top. But certainly, good tax policy ought to even things out for everybody. It’s the reason I support the
FairTax, which is a whole lot better than just cutting a few taxes here and there and making winners and losers. It’s the reason that a completely new tax approach is really preferable because it empowers everyone in the economy, those from the
top to the bottom. But the people at the bottom actually end up getting the best deal out of the fair tax. So I hope more people will start looking at it and realizing that’s the direction we really need to go.
FactCheck: To be revenue-neutral, FairTax raises some taxes
In a lengthy exchange, Huckabee praised the FairTax, saying: “For each third of the economy, there is a benefit, about a 14% benefit for those at the bottom; those in the middle, about a 7%; even those at the very top end of the economy end up with about
a 5% benefit.”
Huckabee’s claim that everyone will pay less is a fantasy. The FairTax claims to be revenue neutral. That means that it has to collect the same $2.4 trillion that the current system collects. And remember that the
FairTax replaces corporate income and payroll taxes. That means that individuals have to pony up to replace those in addition to replacing the sums collected via personal income and payroll taxes.
So Huckabee is suggesting that the
FairTax will generate exactly the same revenue while collecting nothing from corporations and still costing everyone less than they are currently paying. We certainly hope Huckabee has a barrel of magic pixie dust buried somewhere.
FactCheck: FairTax does not bring underground into economy
Huckabee said about the FairTax, “Everybody gets in the economy--no more underground economy. Drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, gamblers, non-Republicans--all of those people out there will be paying taxes. Nobody’s working under the table.”
Huckabee’s suggestion that the FairTax will end the underground economy is highly unlikely. It’s true that pimps and drug dealers will now be taxed when they spend their earnings. But will they really charge johns and junkies sales tax on their purchases
It’s a better deal for the person buying the sex or drugs, and a worse deal for the person selling it.
In fact, far from ending the underground economy, there is a real possibility that the FairTax will feed it growth hormones.
There would probably be two prices--one you can pay with a check or credit card that includes the FairTax and one you can pay in cash & save 23%. Because there would no longer be any audits of income, tracing such tax evasion would be extremely difficult
Q: How does that help the 93 percent of Americans who are paying 15% or less right now?
A: They’re not paying 15 percent; that’s in their visible tax in the terms of the takeout from their checks. When you include the built-in tax, the embedded tax
in the products we buy that corporations build in, the average American is paying 33% in his or her taxes. It would be a dramatic difference if the taxpayers got to choose the taxes, which they would do under the FairTax.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida
Jan 24, 2008
FairTax and its prebate untax the poor and the elderly
People would love to see the IRS abolished. The harder you work, the more you earn, the more the IRS and the government wants from you. What the FairTax does is says, we want you to earn; we want you to save and we want you to buy things and sell things
and make a profit. It goes to the common sense of the idea that we should encourage people to work and get something for it. A lot of people have never read the entire FairTax because when I first heard about the FairTax, the consumption tax, quite
frankly it sounds like it would be oppressive and regressive to the poor. The poor come out best of all because of the provision in the FairTax called the prebate in which every American, each month, is given the amount of the FairTax back up to the
level of poverty. Everybody gets it, not just those under the level of poverty. It actually untaxes the poor, untaxes the elderly. It makes sure that we don’t end up paying taxes on groceries and medicine and the basic necessities of life.
Net change as governor: same income tax; 1› more sales tax
Q: Mitt Romney said about you, “Time and again, he was asked, Didn’t you raise taxes more than you cut them? And after many attempts, he finally admitted that, in fact, he had raised taxes $500 million more than he cut them.” Do you want to respond?
I turned a $200 million deficit into an $850 million surplus. We built roads. We improved our schools. With the support of the business community, as well as with the Supreme Court order, meant that what I did was exactly what governors are supposed to
do, and that’s govern. You know, Ronald Reagan, today, would be attacked by Romney, because Reagan raised taxes $1 billion his first year as governor of California.
Q: He says you raised taxes $500 million more than you cut taxes. On that narrow point,
is he right?
A: Well, only if you understand that some of those were gasoline taxes. At the end of my governorship, the income tax was exactly the same, and the sales tax was a penny higher. The net result was we had a better base of overall revenue.
Source: FOX News Sunday tag
Jan 13, 2008
Raising fees is the same as raising taxes
Q: [to Romney]: In your first year as governor you raised fees on individuals and corporations by more than $500 million.
ROMNEY: We raised fees by $240 million in our state because we had a whole series of fees that hadn’t been raised, in some cases,
in decades, so we brought them up to the cost of providing services. These were not broad-based fees that were required for all people to pay, rather for specialized services.
HUCKABEE: It’s semantics about taxes and fees: if you’re a small business
owner or you pay the fee, it’s as much out of your pocket. You can call it a fee, you can call it a tax, it’s still money the government’s taking from you. It’s the same thing.
ROMNEY: I came in, there was a $3 billion budget gap. Together with the
legislature, we cut spending, we also raised fees, and we calculated how much money we raised in the fees. It was $240 million. We can show you the number.
HUCKABEE: The fees I think you raised were more like half a billion dollars, not $240 million.
Raised AR net tax burden by $500M to comply with court order
ROMNEY: [to Huckabee]: Governor Huckabee says he lowered taxes 94 times. I believe him. Net-net, however, the tax burden in Arkansas was raised by $500 million.
HUCKABEE: There had never been a broad-based tax cut in the 160-year history of my state, &
I signed the first one. I cut taxes 94 times. We eliminated the marriage penalty. We doubled the child tax care credit. We indexed the income tax for inflation.
We froze property taxes for seniors so they didn’t lose their homes due to increases in property taxes.
ROMNEY: Facts are different things. Net-net, didn’t you raise taxes in your state by half a billion dollars?
HUCKABEE: By a court order that said
we had to improve education. Maybe you don’t have to obey the court in Massachusetts. I did in Arkansas. And you know something? Education is a good thing for kids, because kids like me wouldn’t be sitting here if it weren’t for [public education].
AdWatch: Your worth is from God, not your checking account
Huckabee in ad airing in Iowa: I don’t think your value as a human being is found in your checking account. Our founding fathers believed that your worth was something unique because it was given to you by God. And they knew, that these unalienable
rights that we had, came from that creator. That if you worked real hard in this country, you could get somewhere. And if that doesn’t mean anything anymore, than our founding fathers were wrong. I don’t believe so. I think they were right.
Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad, “Founding”
Jan 2, 2008
FactCheck: 90 cuts + 23 tax increases: net $505M increase
In a TV ad which began running in Iowa on Dec. 28, Mike Huckabee talks of God, the nation’s founders and the innate worth of each citizen. Graphics flash up giving Huckabee credit for bringing down taxes while governor of Arkansas.
We find this claim to be misleading.
The ad shows a graphic asserting that Huckabee “cut taxes over 90 times” as governor. 90 tax cuts indeed were enacted under Huckabee; however, so were 21 tax increases, and they far outweighed the cuts.
The total net tax increase under Huckabee was an estimated $505.1 million. Not surprisingly, anti-tax groups give Huckabee poor marks, and the anti-tax group Club For Growth has even been running TV ads against Huckabee on this topic.
Huckabee’s ad also boasts that he “balanced the budget every year” he was governor, but that’s not much to crow about. Like other governors, he must balance the state budget by law.
AdWatch: Signed first-ever broad-based tax cut in Arkansas
Huckabee TV ad: In 160 years in Arkansas we’d never really had a broad-based, widespread tax cut. I was able to sign the first ever. The economic policies that we did in my state, cutting taxes, streamlining government, resulted in the largest
number of job creations. I cut taxes over 90 times, balanced the budget every year I was governor. Left a surplus of nearly a billion dollars, and did it in the face of an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. That’s a pretty good record.
Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad, “Tax Cuts”
Jan 2, 2008
FactCheck: Passed broad-based tax cut, but not “first ever”
In an ad titled “Taxes,” Huckabee boasts, “In 160 years in Arkansas we’d never really had a broad-based, widespread tax cut. I was able to sign the first ever.” It’s true that in 1997, Huckabee championed an income tax reduction that saved
Arkansas taxpayers $90.6 million the first year it was in effect. That surely qualifies as a broad-based, widespread cut. It’s less clear, however, whether that is the first one in 160 years.
In 1991, then-Gov. Bill Clinton signed into law a bill that cut income taxes for some of Arkansas’ poorest working families and removed many others from the income tax rolls entirely. “Broad-based”
and “widespread” can be a matter of interpretation, but to our ears, Huckabee’s claim to have authored the first such bill in 160 years is exaggerated.
Raised some taxes based on court orders and voter approval
Q: The Cato Institute gave you a D and an F for your tenureship as governor--as legitimate criticisms of you for raising taxes and for spending money.
A: Well, I don’t think they’re legitimate criticisms when some of those were either court ordered or
they were voted on by the people and approved by the people for things such as roads. I don’t think they’re legitimate criticisms when you improve education for the children of your state. That’s what being a governor is about. It’s about creating
opportunities for the people of your state.
Q: Even if it means raising taxes?
A: I cut 94 taxes. People forget what we did do on a positive nature: eliminated the marriage penalty, indexed the income tax for inflation so low-income people weren’t
paying high tax rates. So what we tried to do in tax policy by doubling the child care tax credit and by raising the threshold at which people paid, we untaxed a lot of the poor people and gave them a shot at actually making it up the economic ladder.
Over 80 percent of the American people know that the tax code is irreparably broken. I would lead one to a FairTax, and that means that the rich people aren’t going to be made poor, but maybe the poor people could be made rich.
That ought to be the goal of any tax system--not to punish somebody, but to enable somebody so that they can have a part of the American dream. The FairTax does just that.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate
Dec 12, 2007
FactCheck: FairTax would not eliminate IRS; just change role
Huckabee claimed he would get rid of the IRS, a disappearing act that isn’t so easy as he makes it sound. Huckabee said, “The first thing that I would get rid of would be the Internal Revenue Service--a $10-billion-a-year industry.
I’m not being facetious. If we enacted the FairTax, we will get rid of the IRS.”
It is true that the FairTax would get rid of the agency that we now call the IRS. But, according to the bill Huckabee supports, the Fairtax would “eliminate” the
IRS by replacing it with a new Sales Tax Bureau, which wouldn’t necessarily be much smaller than the existing IRS.
According to the Bush administration study on the FairTax, “The federal administrative burden for a retail sales tax may be similar to
the burden under the current system.” The FairTax would also require an entirely new type of bureaucracy to “keep track of the personal information that would be necessary to determine the size of the taxpayer’s cash grant.”
FairTax is 23%; Bush’s study missed prebate & other aspects
Q: You want to set up what you call a FairTax.
Q: This would be a sales tax of 23% on almost every good and service you buy or anyone buys. But a bipartisan panel named by President Bush say to raise enough money, the rate would have to be
A: They didn’t really study the FairTax. They simply studied a type of consumption tax, not the actual proposal that was designed by some of the leading economists in this country. It is a rate of 23%. It’s not 30% or 34%,
as some of the critics complain.
Q: They said that a FairTax would reduce the tax burden on only two groups, those making less than $30,000 a year, because there’s a rebate for people under the poverty line, and those making more than $200,000 a year.
So the rich and the poor do better, but the vast middle class ends up paying more taxes.
A: They had a fatal flaw. They didn’t understand that the “prebate” applies to everybody, including the middle class. Everybody comes off better off.
FairTax untaxes productivity & things which we export
Q: Tell us about your FairTax. You’re going to get rid of the IRS. You’re going to have basically a consumer tax. If you put a tax on spending, won’t that encourage people to hoard their money rather than spend it, and hurt the economy?
HUCKABEE: Nothing’s going to discourage Americans from spending money! No, the FairTax does something that is absolutely phenomenal for the economy. It untaxes productivity. It untaxes those things which we export.
HUNTER: I’m a sponsor of the FairTax.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan
Oct 9, 2007
FairTax eliminates all taxes on productivity & saving
Q: You may be the biggest supporter of the FairTax on this stage, that you say replace the income tax with a 23% national sales tax. Now, back in 2005, Pres. Bush’s Tax Reform Commission did a study about the FairTax. They said the sales tax rate would
have to be 34%, not 23%, & that no state, no country, has ever put in a 34% sales tax. The commission says that with a FairTax that high, there are only two income groups that would benefit--those making less than $30,000 a year & those making more than
A: The Bush tax panel did not look at the FairTax proposal. They looked at something that called itself that, but it was not. The true FairTax proposal is the 23%. And it empowers everyone in the economy, not just the people at the bottom
and the very top, but all of the middle class, which is a desperate need. What we would do with the FairTax is to eliminate all the taxes on productivity. You wouldn’t be penalized for saving, earning, for having a capital gain, making an investment.
Voters want somebody who talks about true tax reform like the fair tax. They embrace that idea in
New Hampshire when I talk about it--a complete just gutting of this incredibly complex and arcane tax code we have and replace it with a simple consumption tax that really elevates our economy, gives it a fresh start.
Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews
Aug 26, 2007
Attacked as tax-and-spend by several anti-tax groups
The conservative Club for Growth ran ads attacking you as a tax-and-spender during your years as governor of Arkansas. One ad said, “Higher sales taxes. Gas taxes. Grocery taxes. Even higher taxes on nursing home beds.” The fact is, you did sign those
tax increases. You did allow a 17% sales tax increase.
A: I have to be a little flattered that the Club for Growth targeted me with $100,000 of ads. But there are nuances of a state government--I’m quite proud of having navigated a ship through trouble
waters in Arkansas.
Q: It’s not just the Club for Growth. The Cato Institute gave you a “D” on taxes for your 10 years as governor. Americans for Tax Reform said that state spending during your first 8 years as governor increased by 65%.
But if you look at our state spending, budgeting during my time as governor increased about 0.5% a year. When you look at the things that I actually had control [over, you would ignore] these wild accusations that I’m a tax and spender.
Tax system penalizes productivity; needs complete overhaul
Q: The FairTax would eliminate the income tax, estate tax, payroll tax and capital gains tax and replace it with a 23% sales tax. Do you support it?
A: I absolutely support the FairTax.
And part of the reason is, the current system is one that penalizes productivity. If we could have the FairTax, you take $10 trillion parked offshore, bring it home, you rebuild the “Made in America” brand, you free up people to earn money, to work,
you don’t penalize them for taking a second job, you don’t penalize them for investing, you don’t penalize them for savings.
Today, our tax system doesn’t need a tap of the hammer, a twist of the screwdriver, it needs a complete overhaul. And what the
FairTax does, it ends the underground economy. No more illegals, no more gamblers, prostitutes, pimps and dope dealers will be able to escape the tax code. It’s the single great thing that will help this country [achieve a] revitalized economy.
Q: The alternative minimum tax caught 4 million people this year; it’ll get 23 million next year unless Congress acts. How would you eliminate the tax without raising the budget deficit?
A: The simplest way is an active FairTax. That’s the first thing
I’d love to do as president, put a “Going Out of Business” sign on the Internal Revenue Service and stop the $10 billion a year that it costs just for them to operate. A FairTax would eliminate the alternative minimum tax [& many other taxes].
Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina
May 15, 2007
Huckabee praised a “FairTax” without noting that it would actually impose a stiff retail sales tax & ease the tax burden on the richest Americans:
“A FairTax would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, personal income tax, corporate tax, & al
the various taxes that are hidden in our system & Americans don’t realize what they’re paying.”
The FairTax proposes a “prebate” to soften its impact on low-income persons--a monthly check for the amount of tax paid up to the poverty level.
But any sales tax also would lower taxes for those upper-income persons who save large portions of income that would be taxed under current law.
Pres. Bush’s bipartisan Advisory Panel on Tax Reform rejected the idea, saying it would substantially
increase taxes for 80% of taxpayers. The panel calculated that a sales tax would have to be set at 34% of retail prices, and the monthly cash prebate would amount to the largest entitlement program in history, at least $600 billion per year.
Flatter, fairer, finite, family friendly overhaul: Fair Tax
Q: In addition to the Bush tax cut, name a tax you’d like to cut.
A: I cut taxes 94 times as governor, but I realize tinkering with it doesn’t work. I’d overhaul it. I would work for the fair tax, which meets the four criteria:
flatter, fairer, finite, family friendly. We’d get rid of the IRS. We’re get rid of all capital gains, income, corporate. And we’d have a consumption tax. The fair tax proposal, I believe, offers the best opportunity for all levels of Americans.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC
May 3, 2007
First governor in Arkansas history to ever lower taxes
I was the first governor in the history of my state to ever lower taxes. We lowered a total of 94 different taxes and fees. We did things that streamlined and made government more efficient. But we were under a Supreme Court order to raise revenue for
our schools. We did it, but with the insistence that we wouldn’t just raise money, we would raise standards and expectations.
Did we raise taxes on fuel? Yes, but 80% of the people voted on improving what was the worst road system in the country.
Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series
Jan 28, 2007
Wouldn’t propose new taxes, but won’t pledge against taxes
Q: If need be, because of the war in Iraq, because of the deficit, because of health care, because of infrastructure, would you keep raising federal taxes on the table?
A: I don’t think taxes is really where we need to go.
It’s not that our taxes are too low, it’s that our spending is too high. I think that the real issue is getting our spending under control, making our priorities where they work for the American people.
Q: So “read my lips, no new taxes”?
A: I wouldn’t propose any new taxes. I wouldn’t support any. But if we’re in a situation where we are in a different level of war, where there is no other option,
I think that it’s a very dangerous position to make pledges that are outside the most important pledge you make, and that is the oath you take to uphold the Constitution and protect the people of the United States.
Raised Arkansas taxes 5 times, but lowered taxes 94 times
Q: The Cato Institute analyzed your performance, and said: “Huckabee receives an F for his current term and a D for his entire tenure. The main reason for the drop was his insistence on raising taxes at almost every turn throughout his final term.” And
The Club for Growth wrote: “Huckabee raised taxes five times-a gas tax increase in 1999, the cigarette tax hike, tax increases in 2004, a tax on beer and a tax on nursing homes.” That’s a tough record to sell to a Republican audience in primary states.
Supports national flat tax to keep up with globalization
During the 2000 presidential race, Steve Forbes advocated simplification of the tax code and the implementation of a flat tax. While far from perfect, moving toward a tax that is both flatter and fairer is a goal we should adopt.
One of the arguments
for a flat tax is to address a world economy that has radically changed in the last decade. Capital, and even labor, are fluid & mobile. A tax structure that is more predictable, consistent, flatter, and fairer not only represents greater accountability
in government but may well be a key element of economic survival as we continue to play on a global stage. Governments unwilling to respond with lower rates and broader tax bases are tempting fate and could continue to see erosion of investment & jobs.
Some argue that a flat tax is especially oppressive to those at the bottom of the economy because they currently pay little of their income to taxes. Making sure that a tax system is fair means we should not ignore the needs of the poor.
I responded to those who thought the time was right to raise taxes. I announced that I had established a fund for those who felt they were not paying enough in taxes. I created the Tax Me More Fund.
Arkansas citizens who felt they were not contributing
enough of their personal or business income could write checks and the state would be more than happy to receive their contributions.
I carried envelopes for the Tax Me More Fund. I must have carried them to dozens of speeches and yet not one time did
anyone ask for an envelope. From 2001 to 2005, a total of 56 people made contributions to the Tax Me More Fund totaling $2,077. It was a potent way of pointing out the hypocrisy of the insincere vocal minority who proved by their failure to write a check
that they wanted more taxes to be paid, but they wanted them to be paid by someone other than themselves. In Dec. 2001, the Americans for Tax Reform named me as a Friend of the Taxpayer for exposing the phoniness of the more tax arguments.
If we un-tax the possibilities of the innovations in technologies, put an incentive out there that’s just truly something dramatic: a billion-dollar bonus for the first person who can produce a car that can get 100 miles per gallon. We ought to un-tax
innovation, un-tax income. Any time you penalize productivity, it’s counterintuitive to an economy. One of the reasons that we’re dependent is because we have allowed the oil companies to dictate not just prices, but policy. We’re not going to allow
dictators, whether in the Middle East or Venezuela, to continue to in essence enslave the American people, which is exactly what we’ve done. We’re paying for both sides of the war on terror. We pay for it with our tax dollars to fund the military, but
every time we swipe our credit card in the gas pump, we might as well be sending a check over to the madrassas that are training the terrorists that eventually are going to come back to us. That’s why it’s got to be an urgent matter of utmost priority.
When we cut the tax burden for Arkansas families, we eliminated 40,000 families from the tax rolls. Not the richest but the poorest were eliminated from the tax rolls.
By indexing for inflation and cutting out the marriage penalty, we gave Arkansans the best boost they have ever had.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature
Jan 9, 2001
No tax increase under any circumstances
I would not support any tax increase under any circumstances. There needs to be significant reductions in spending, not an increase in taxes.
Source: Responses to Associated Press Questionnaire for AR Senate
Nov 1, 1992
No national sales tax or VAT.
Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association policy:
State tax policy is closely linked to federal policy. 36 states currently use either federal income or federal tax liability as the state tax base for personal income taxes. It is critical that Congress and the administration do not enact tax reform in a vacuum, but in consultation and in partnership with the nation’s Governors.
National Sales or Value-Added Tax The nation’s Governors oppose a national sales or transactional value-added tax. Such taxes would intrude into a tax area that has traditionally been reserved for and relied on by state and local governments. If enacted, either of these taxes would seriously threaten the ability of state and local governments to maintain their tax base.
Current Income Tax If Congress decides to reform the current tax system, they should reduce the complexity of current income taxes; increase incentives to work, save, and invest; and increase efficiency and fairness. As part of any reform of the
current income tax, the nation’s Governors would oppose any modification to the deductibility of state income taxes, property taxes, and the interest on state and local bonds.
Transition If major tax reform is enacted, it should not be implemented for at least three years, to give states ample time to adjust their own tax systems.
Information Needs of the StatesThe ability of states to tax various revenue sources depends to a large extent on information that only the federal government can collect. This is becoming much more important given the complexity of both the international and domestic economies in tracing where goods and income are generated. It is critical that the federal government separate tax reform per se from the information that is collected from individuals, businesses, and corporations with respect to income generated. The data collection role of the federal government must be developed in partnership with state and local governments.
Source: NGA Executive Committee Policy Statement EC-9 00-NGA1 on Feb 15, 2000
Let states independently determine estate taxes.
Huckabee adopted a letter to Congressional leaders from 37 Governors:
We are writing to request equal treatment between states and the federal government on estate tax changes. Regardless of one’s view about phasing out the federal estate tax, the Governors are absolutely united in opposing any action that would discriminate against states in the phase-out of the state and federal estate taxes. This issue needs to be addressed before the Senate goes to conference with the House.
Governors believe that the ability of states to independently determine their own tax revenue policy is a basic tenet of federalism. Moreover, no federal tax bill should be enacted without close consultation with the states.
At the very least, there must be equity in the treatment of the state death tax credit in the tax bill the Congress considers with the proposed phase-out of the federal estate tax. Governors oppose provisions that impose disproportionate impacts on state revenue systems. The changes proposed by the Senate would have abrupt, significant adverse impacts on state revenues at a particularly onerous time for many states. The potential impact on states would begin next year and have a potential impact of between $50 and $100 billion over the next ten years.
We urge the leaders to respect those rights and to restore fairness.
Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 01-NGA19 on May 23, 2001