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Mike Johanns on Tax Reform

Secretary of Agriculture; previously Republican NE Governor


No tax increase for research on celluosic ethanol

Johanns said, “Scott said corn-based ethanol will not be a part of our future. I could not disagree more.”

“I don’t know why, as Secretary of Agriculture, he urged the president to veto the Farm Bill, which included $1 billion of research for celluosic ethanol,” Kleeb countered.

Johanns said he makes no excuses for vetoing the bill. “I would do it again. You put a tax increase in a farm bill I will veto it just like I vetoed the state budget when they boxed it up with tax increases.”

Source: [Xref Kleeb] 2008 Nebraska Senate debate , Aug 24, 2008

As governor I opposed higher taxes; will do same in Senate

As governor I balanced budgets, held the line on spending, vetoed bills that wasted your money, and I opposed higher taxes. In the Senate I will do the same. I will work to lower taxes to keep our economy growing, create new jobs and ensure that you keep more of your hard earned money for your family’s budget, not the federal budget.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, mikejohanns2008.com, “Issues” , Mar 2, 2008

$60M in property tax relief over next two years

Keeping true to my pledge of providing direct property tax relief, I am asking the Legislature to approve $60 million dollars over the next two years for property tax relief through the State’s community colleges. We have funded this method of providing direct property tax relief in each of the last two years. It has been successful and we should continue this effort.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Nebraska Legislature , Jan 11, 2001

No national sales tax or VAT.

Johanns 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.

Johanns 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

Taxpayer Protection Pledge: no new taxes.

Johanns 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

Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Johanns 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

Keep reduction of capital gains tax.

Johanns signed Amendment to Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act

A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates.

Repeals the termination date in the Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 for provisions reducing individual tax rates on capital gains and dividend income.

Source: S.567 2009-S567 on Mar 11, 2009

Other candidates on Tax Reform: Mike Johanns on other issues:
NE Gubernatorial:
Dave Heineman
NE Senatorial:
Deb Fischer
Shane Osborn

NE politicians
NE Archives

Retiring in 2014 election:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
AZ:Kyl(R)
CT:Lieberman(D)
HI:Akaka(D)
ME:Snowe(R)
ND:Conrad(D)
NE:Nelson(D)
NM:Bingaman(D)
TX:Hutchison(R)
VA:Webb(D)
WI:Kohl(D)
Senate Retirements 2014:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
OK:Coburn(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Senate races Nov. 2014:
AK: Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
AL: Sessions(R,unopposed)
AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R)
CO: Udall(D) vs.Gardner(R) vs.Baumgardner(R) vs.Buck(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Stephens(R)
DE: Coons(D) vs.O`Donnell(R)
GA: Gingrey(R) vs.Nunn(D) vs.Perdue(R) vs.Handel(R) vs.Broun(R) vs.Kingston(R)
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Cavasso(R)
IA: Braley(D) vs.Whitaker(R) vs.Ernst(R) vs.Clovis(R)
ID: Risch(R) vs.Mitchell(D)
IL: Durbin(D) vs.Oberweis(R) vs.Hansen(L) vs.Truax(R)
KS: Roberts(R) vs.Tiahrt(R) vs.Wolf(R) vs.Taylor(D)
KY: McConnell(R) vs.Bevin(R) vs.Grimes(D)
LA: Landrieu(D) vs.Cassidy(R) vs.Maness(R)
MA: Markey(D) vs.Herr(R) vs.Skarin(I) vs.Gomez(R)
ME: Collins(R) vs.D`Amboise(R) vs.Bellows(D)
MI: Land(R) vs.Peters(D) vs.Wiedenhoeft(R)
MN: Franken(D) vs.McFadden(R) vs.Abeler(R)
MS: Cochran(R) vs.McDaniel(R) vs.Childers(D)
MT: Walsh(D) vs.Bohlinger(D) vs.Daines(R) vs.Edmunds(R)
NC: Hagan(D) vs.Tillis(R)
NE: Sasse(R) vs.Osborn(R)
NH: Shaheen(D) vs.Martin(R) vs.Brown(R) vs.Smith(R) vs.Rubens(R) vs.Testerman(R)
NJ: Booker(D) vs.Sabrin(R) vs.Lonegan(R)
NM: Udall(D) vs.Weh(R) vs.Clements(R)
OK-2: Shannon(R) vs.Lankford(R)
OK-6: Inhofe(R) vs.Silverstein(D)
OR: Merkley(D) vs.Conger(R) vs.Wehby(R)
RI: Reed(D) vs.Carcieri(R)
SC-2: Scott(R) vs.Wade(D)
SC-6: Graham(R) vs.Stamper(D) vs.Mace(R) vs.Bright(R)
SD: Rounds(R) vs.Weiland(D) vs.Pressler(I)
TN: Alexander(R) vs.Carr(R)
TX: Cornyn(R) vs.Stockman(R) vs.Roland(L)
VA: Warner(D) vs.Gillespie(R) vs.Sarvis(L)
WV: Capito(R) vs.Raese(R) vs.Tennant(D) vs.McGeehan(R)
WY: Enzi(R) vs.Cheney(R) vs.Hardy(D)
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Page last updated: Apr 14, 2014