Ron DeSantis on Tax Reform



Flat tax: better for growth & ends weaponization of IRS

Q: Last week, you said you support a flat tax, which is a single income tax rate for every American. Under your plan, would working families pay the same tax rate as billionaires?

DESANTIS: I would only do it if people are better off than they are now. I mean, I want people paying less taxes. We have a spending problem in this country. It's not a tax problem in this country. And if you had something that was simple and transparent, not only would that better for economic growth, it's also better to end the weaponization of government. The IRS has been weaponized against conservatives going back to the Obama administration.

Q: So would working families would pay the same rate as billionaires?

DESANTIS: You'd exempt working-class people-- the first $40 or $50 grand, that's just to subsist. So you would have no tax up to a certain point, and then it would just be a single rate. So if somebody makes twice as much, and they pay twice as much.

Source: CNN 2024 pre-Iowa caucus one-on-one debate , Jan 10, 2024

Eliminate the IRS; have a single rate and just a flat tax

I think I would eliminate the IRS, have a single rate and just do like a flat tax. I think that would be the ideal tax system to be able to do take away the distortions. And what happens is Florida is a good example of this. We have low tax and we cut taxes, and yet we attract more investment and our economic base expands. Obviously, I would only do it if it was lower taxes for everybody. But that is the ideal tax system.

I understand the importance of agriculture for our country. It's not just an economic issue, food security is a national security issue. And I think we're more secure and better when we have family farms that are viable and that can pass that down from generation to generation. I don't want everything to be massive corporations. We need to eliminate the death tax on these family farms so that they can pass it down without getting taxed.

Source: CNN Town Hall 2024 pre-Iowa caucus , Jan 4, 2024

Reduced inflation pain with over $1 billion in tax relief

We've also delivered, for all Floridians much needed economic relief. Due to the excessive spending and printing of money by the the federal government, Americans are living through the worst period of sustained inflation in decades. We've worked together to reduce the pain of inflation by enacting over $1 billion in tax relief in this current year's budget and by slashing tolls by 50% for Florida commuters for this calendar year. That will save some families more than $1,000.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature , Mar 7, 2023

I am proposing a $1 billion gas tax holiday

Inflation is an invisible tax. It represents a pay cut for individuals and families alike. And one of the ways families have felt the pinch has been in significantly higher gas prices. To help alleviate this burden for Florida families, I am proposing a $1 billion gas tax holiday to help reduce prices at the pump. If Washington, D.C., won't change course, then we have a responsibility to step up on behalf of Floridians.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 11, 2022

Must remain a low-tax state with no income tax

It is often said that states serve as laboratories of democracies. The result has been a migration of wealth from states that tax heavily, spend profligately, and regulate excessively to states, like Florida, that tax lightly, spend conservatively, and regulate reasonably. We won't repeat those mistakes in Florida. We will always remain a low-tax state. And we will never have an income tax! I have proposed more than $330 million in tax relief for Florida families, including a property tax cut.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Florida legislature , Mar 5, 2019

Tax cuts help US companies compete with foreign businesses

Taxes: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

DeSantis: Yes. "The reforms will better enable American companies to compete with foreign businesses & will help stem the tide of companies & jobs going overseas."

Gillum: No. Puts "billions of dollars in the coffers of our richest corporations, money that would otherwise protect Social Security & Medicare, & pay for roads & bridges."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race , Nov 1, 2018

Keep Florida a low-tax state; super-majority to raise taxes

Q: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

Ron DeSantis (R): Yes. "The reforms will better enable American companies to compete with foreign businesses & will help stem the tide of companies & jobs going overseas."

Andrew Gillum (D): No. Puts "billions of dollars in the coffers of our richest corporations, money that would otherwise protect Social Security & Medicare, & pay for roads & bridges."

Q: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?

Ron DeSantis (R): No. Keep Florida a low-tax state "by opposing tax increases & requiring a supermajority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes."

Andrew Gillum (D): Yes. Increase Florida's corporate tax rate by 2% to generate $1 billion for education funding.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Opposes an income tax increase.

DeSantis opposes the PVS survey question on income taxes

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Congressional candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 11% did so in the 2012 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 12-PVS-q11 on Aug 30, 2012

Replace income tax and IRS with FairTax.

DeSantis 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

Death Tax is a pernicious double tax.

DeSantis 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: Congressional vote 15-H1105 on Apr 16, 2015

Other candidates on Tax Reform: Ron DeSantis on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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