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Tom Vilsack on Tax Reform

Democratic IA Governor


GOP tax cuts & deregulation hurt middle-class families

Last week, we heard folks at the other convention say they want to "take our country back." But here's what I noticed: they didn't say back to what. Well, we know what backwards looks like. We know what happened to middle-class families after two tax cuts for people who didn't need them; after deregulation of the banking and housing sectors; after the historic recession that followed.
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech , Sep 5, 2012

Embraces middle-class tax cuts

While Vilsack has been a leader in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, the middle-class tax cuts and push toward a balanced budget that the DLC pushes have become so mainstream and embraced by so many Democrats that those ideas were part of the six-part “New Direction” that congressional Democrats will act on when they take control in January.
Source: Perry Bacon Jr. in Time Magazine , Nov 30, 2006

Support growth measure but not accompanying tax cuts

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Vilsack violated the constitution by using line-item vetoes to yank tax cuts and regulatory changes from a 2003 bill creating the Grow Iowa Values Fund. The ruling invalidates House File 692, which created the governing framework for the $503 million values fund. A separate bill signed by Vilsack authorized dollars to fill the values fund. But HF 692 also contained a $311 million income tax cut and pro-business regulatory reforms that Vilsack vetoed.
Source: Journal Des Moines Bureau , Jun 17, 2004

No national sales tax or VAT.

Vilsack adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA Executive Committee Policy Statement EC-9 00-NGA1 on Feb 15, 2000

Let states independently determine estate taxes.

Vilsack 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

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
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  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Tom Vilsack.
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Page last updated: Jul 12, 2013