Sarah Palin on Tax Reform

Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President

Core GOP belief is limited government and limited taxation

Q: At the convention here, we have at least three people I know who are running for Congress; what questions would you ask them to determine whether or not you would support them?

A: I'm going to ask them if they think that we're taxed enough already. And if they say yes, I'm going to say well what are you going to do about it. Because really, we don't want to just hear the talk. We want to know that they walk the walk, either via a record that perhaps they can prove to us in other elected office they have had. But if they feel that they've been taxed enough already and that they make us a commitment that they are going to do something about it and if they just believe in that constitutional limited government [that's important. There are] things on the periphery that perhaps I wouldn't agree with very single aspect of their agenda, but they have got the basics down, I think it would be wise for us to be supportive.

Source: 2010 Tea Party Convention Q&A , Feb 6, 2010

1992: First campaign focused on reducing property taxes

My first campaign was exciting, and exactly what you would expect for a small town. I focused on reducing property taxes and redefining government's appropriate role.

At the time, Wasilla didn't even have a police force. The Alaska State Troopers had patrolled the area but said that Wasilla was big enough to support our own police department. Of course, we'd have to pay for it. There were two options on the table: increase property taxes or adopt a sales tax. I didn't like either, but raising propert taxes meant more government control over what residents owned. A sales tax would be fairer and more optional, with a broader base of support in a town like Wasilla, which is a hub for commerce and tourism.

So in the campaign I supported the 2% sales tax only if it correspondingly reduced property taxes. That got me off on the wrong foot with some local Republicans who heard the word "tax" and assumed I actually WANTED one.

When the polls closed, the sales tax had passed and I won.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p. 64-65 , Nov 17, 2009

To end recession: slay the death tax and cut capital gains

Our nation is facing great challenges, but I'm optimistic--ad I know there is a way forward.

Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession. He showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all. And if we really want to help the poor and middle class get through this recession, how about cutting their payroll taxes? Giving people control over more of the money they've earned: now that's real stimulus. Get federal spending under control, and then set aside and watch this economy roar back to life.

The way forward is full of promise. But it takes more courage for a politician to step back and let the free market correct itself than it does to push through quick fixes. Reagan showed courage when he stayed the course through the long recession of the early 1980s. Critics even in his own party told him to abandon his tax cuts. He was confident they would work. And they did.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.391-392 , Nov 17, 2009

FactCheck: No, Reagan didn't end 1980s recession by tax cuts

PALIN: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and "showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all."

THE FACTS: The estate tax, which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president.

Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month. The recession of the early 1980s did not have a financial meltdown. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, worse than the October 2009 high of 10.2 percent, but the jobless rate is still expected to climb.

Source: AP Fact Check about "Going Rogue", in NY Times , Nov 13, 2009

Under Obama plan, small businesses will see tax increases

PALIN: When you talk about Barack’s plan to tax increase affecting only those making $250,000 a year or more, you’re forgetting millions of small businesses that are going to fit into that category. So they’re going to be the ones paying higher taxes thus resulting in fewer jobs being created and less productivity. Patriotic is saying, government, you’re not always the solution. In fact, too often you’re the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow.

BIDEN: No one making less than $250,000 under Obama’s plan will see one penny of their tax raised. And 95% percent of the people making less than $150,000 will get a tax break. John wants to add new tax cuts for corporate America and the very wealthy while giving nothing to the middle class. We have a different value set. The middle class is the economic engine. They deserve the tax breaks, not the wealthy who are doing well.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden , Oct 2, 2008

FactCheck: Undoing Bush tax cut only hits families over $83K

Palin repeated a false claim about Barack Obama’s tax proposal, saying, “Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year. That’s a lot of middle income average American families to increase taxes on them. I think that is the way to kill jobs and to continue to harm our economy.”

Obama did not in fact vote to increase taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 per year. What Obama actually voted for was a budget resolution that called for returning the 25% tax bracket to its pre-Bush tax cut level of 28%. That could have affected an individual with no children making as little as $42,000. But a couple would have had to earn $83,000 to be affected and a family of four at least $90,000. The resolution would not have raised taxes on its own, without additional legislation, and there is no such tax increase in Obama’s tax plan. (The vote took place on March 14 of this year, not last year as Palin said.)

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 2, 2008

No Alaska sales tax; and $3,200 payments annually

Q: There’s no sales tax in Alaska, right?

A: There are in individual communities.

Q: But no state sales tax.

A: Correct.

Q: And if I were a resident of Alaska, you would write me a check every year for $2,069?

A: Well, depending on how the stock market is doing. Over the last five years--that’s an average.

Q: And then you also gave recently an extra check for $1,200?

A: I did. Because the price of a barrel of oil is so high right now that state coffers are growing, but the family’s checkbook is being decimated because of the high cost of energy.

Q: I have to move to Alaska. New York taxes are killing me.

A: Well, what we’re doing up there is returning a share of resource development dollars back to the people who own the resources. And our constitution up there mandates that as you develop resources it’s to be for the maximum benefit of the people, not the corporations, not the government, but the people of Alaska.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” , Sep 17, 2008

Everybody benefits when government takes less

Q: Senator Obama often criticizes John McCain that he’s going to continue the policies of tax cuts for the wealthy. Does everyone benefit if the rich pay less? Why is that good for the economy?

A: Everybody does benefit when government takes less from the people, no matter what their income bracket is, because our businesses and our families are able to keep more of what they’re earning, reinvest in what they have as priorities. That’s how jobs are created. And that’s how we’re going to grow our economy.

But, let me talk really quickly about our opponent’s position on taxes. Barack Obama has had 94 opportunities to be on the side of the American taxpayer and 94 times he has chosen to be on the opposite. He could have either voted for tax cuts or at least not for tax increases. And 94 times he has chosen, I believe, the wrong position on those.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” , Sep 17, 2008

Raising taxes hurts small business and hurts jobs

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.

My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that’s now opened for business--like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?

Or maybe you’re trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota. How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy?

Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 3, 2008

Elected mayor based on tax cut promise

Palin was just 28 when her political star began its rapid ascent. Urged on by city activists, she ran for and won a seat on the Wasilla city council, in part to help promote economic development in the small valley town.

Four years later, she was elected Wasilla’s mayor, knocking off three-term incumbent John Stein by promising tax cuts, spending reform, and a fresh face leading the city. Palin largely delivered on her promises.

Source: Boston Globe, “A valentine to evangelical base”, p. A12 , Aug 30, 2008

As mayor, cut property taxes & increased sales tax

As mayor of Wasilla, Palin oversaw the Police Department, which has 25 officers, and the city’s public works projects. “This is really rural America,” said the deputy city clerk.

The city clerk added that Ms. Palin had three major achievements as mayor She cut property taxes, increased the city sales tax by half a percent to support construction of an indoor ice rink and sports complex, and put more money into public safety, winning a grant to build a police dispatch center in town.

Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” , Aug 29, 2008

$60M annually for municipal revenue sharing

Governor Sarah Palin today thanked legislators for their efforts in passing Senate Bill 72. SB 72, pertaining to municipal revenue sharing, sets up a structure for distributing $60 million each year to local governments for the next three years.

“As a former mayor and city council member, it is my belief that services are best provided at the most local level possible,” Governor Palin said. “I am pleased that Senate members have committed to fund municipal revenue sharing for the next three years. They took our proposal and made it better, and I appreciate them for working together to accomplish this.“

Under municipal revenue sharing, the state distributes funds to the municipalities of Alaska. The local entities have discretionary use of the funds, which can be used for a variety of purposes such as providing larger communities the ability to offer tax relief to its residents and providing smaller communities with funds to help support basic municipal services.

Source: Governor’s office press release, “Senate Bill 72” , Mar 12, 2008

Eliminate taxes that inhibit business

I will propose reducing or eliminating burdensome taxes on our citizens like business license fees and the tire tax. After our citizens, our state treasure is our commonly-owned natural resources. Fifty years ago, our Constitution’s founders established lofty goals and ironclad promises to be self-sufficient and self-determined wise use of resources.
Source: 2008 State of the State Address to 25th Alaska Legislature , Jan 15, 2008

Repeal “nuisance taxes” including the tire tax

To help Alaska’s families, and small businesses (the backbone of our local economies), I propose to repeal “nuisance taxes” including the tire tax--we shouldn’t make Alaskans pay a premium to keep families safe driving Alaska’s roads. And we’ll significantly reduce business license fees. Taxes which send the wrong message by financially discouraging our small businesses.
Source: 2007 State of the State Address to 24th Alaska Legislature , Jan 17, 2007

Mitigate impact of new $50M annual cruise ship tourism tax

Thirteen days after the next governor takes the oath of office, Alaska will enact sweeping new rules and taxes on the tourism industry. Just a few months ago, Alaska voters put cruise lines and their passengers on the hook for millions in new taxes and fees, all contained in a cruise-ship ballot proposition approved in August’s primary election.

Sarah Palin now says she doesn’t feel comfortable with some aspects of the new law. She recently told tourism industry officials that if elected, she would work with them to “mitigate some of the impacts” of the law.

The new taxes and fees will generate at least $50 million a year in additional state revenue, according to recent estimates from the Alaska Department of Revenue. For the first time, the state also will put observers on cruise ships visiting Alaska to monitor the ships’ smokestack and wastewater emissions. And cruise lines will need to begin disclosing their sales commissions with on-shore vendors.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile , Oct 30, 2006

No income tax; no taking the people’s dividends

Q: If the state finds itself squeezed for funds in the future, where would you look for more revenue?

A: Unlike my opponents’ efforts in the past, I will not propose to take the people’s dividends or impose an income tax. Given our current revenue projections, I will focus my administration toward developing our natural resources and establishing an agreement to build a gas pipeline.

Q: Should the state consider using more Permanent Fund earnings to run government?

A: No.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile , Oct 22, 2006

Would support a seasonal sales tax, but no income tax

Q: Would you support state sales or income taxes under any circumstances?

A: I don’t support state income taxes. There are circumstances where I could support a sales tax if applied seasonally.

Q: Are there sectors of the Alaska economy that are under taxed or overtaxed? Which ones?

A: As a fiscal conservative, I’m not enamored with additional taxes on anything. I believe it’s the governor’s job to make sure the state gets a fair return on the development of our natural resources.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile , Oct 22, 2006

Other candidates on Tax Reform: Sarah Palin on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
GOP Withdrawals:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Donald Trump(NY)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012