Marco Rubio on Tax Reform

Republican Florida Senator


My tax reform gives more to lower earners, percentage-wise

The largest after- tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. In addition to a general personal exemption, we are increasing the per-child tax credit for working families. We are lowering taxes on small business. Under my plan, no business, big or small, will pay more than 25 percent flat rate on their business income. That is a dramatic tax decrease for hard-working people who run their own businesses.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Our outdated tax code encourages outsourcing jobs

Our tax code makes it more expensive to invest in America in comparison to our competition. Rapid advances in technology and the globalization of the economy have meant that many of the jobs that once made the American Dream possible are now being outsourced or automated.
Source: American Dreams, by Marco Rubio, p. 11 , Jan 13, 2015

2007: Replace all property taxes by adding 2.5% to sales tax

Everyone liked the sound of lower property taxes. But the details could get awfully convoluted. Marco Rubio had a plan of his own. He wanted to eliminate all property taxes--all property taxes!--on primary residences, then add another 2.5% to the state's 6% sales tax. To me, that just seemed like a way to shift the tax burden onto poor people, who tend not to own homes and have to spend every nickel they make.

Marco's plan didn't get anywhere. But with patience and persistence, mine slowly did.

Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p. 88 , Feb 4, 2014

Replace property taxes with a consumption tax

We would do our best, but our plan to replace property taxes with a consumption tax would never be popular enough to prevail. Without the governor's support, we couldn't put enough heat on the senate to pass it. I made the pragmatic decision to give up the idea of scrapping the entire property tax system and push for serious reform of the existing system instead.
Source: An American Son, by Marco Rubio, p.153-154 , Jun 19, 2012

OpEd: Proposed consumption tax called "largest tax increase"

Moments before I took the stage on December 2 for a speech to Florida TaxWatch, an organization of fiscal conservatives, Crist's communications director released a statement accusing me of hiding my real record of supporting "the largest tax increase in Florida history".

The largest tax increase the Crist release criticized was the consumption tax I had proposed to replace property taxes as part of our property tax reform. It was a false charge because the plan would have reduced taxes overall.

Source: An American Son, by Marco Rubio, p.213 , Jun 19, 2012

Eliminate Florida property tax; or cap it at 1.35%

The property tax struck at the core of Rubio's legislative agenda. He wanted to eliminate property taxes on primary residences and replace that revenue with a sales tax. In his "100 Ideas" book he argued that eliminating the property tax would increase the value of Florida homes and would attract more retirees to the state, who would in turn fill the state's coffers by spending their income and increasing sales for items the state was taxing. Proponents hailed the idea as a way to give relief to Floridians, whose taxes had soared because of increasing home values; critics said it would benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

Later that year Rubio tried another approach suggesting setting a low cap of 1.35% on property tax rates. Neither of Rubio's proposals became law, leaving him visibly frustrated. Although Rubio was unsuccessful in selling his property tax proposals, the legislature and Crist did eventually agree to modest tax relief.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.134-136 , Jun 19, 2012

We need new taxpayers, not new taxes

Democrats claim their line in the sand is protecting entitlement benefits for the poor and seniors. Republicans, meanwhile, say their line in the sand is "no tax increases." If these same Republicans, who continue to vote for more spending, had been as resolute [in voting against new spending], the problem would be much easier to solve. Every dollar of deficit spending Republicans backed--along with Democrats--was a deferred tax increase. Our present challenges prove that deficits do matter.

Republicans know it is possible to increase revenue without raising tax rates on anyone. In fact, you can cut tax rates, cut spending, and see an increase in tax revenue. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) nailed this point when he said, "We don't need new taxes. We need new taxpayers." Ultimately, smart tax policy stimulates real growth, which, in turn, creates jobs and revenue. If revenue is considered undesirable, then so is job creation and growth, which is ludicrous.

Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p. 56 , Apr 17, 2012

No one should pay higher taxes in recession, not even top 2%

The tax-cut issue, revolving around whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, demonstrated the different stances of each candidate. Pres. Obama calls for extending the tax cuts to everyone making up to $200,000 a year, or $250,000 for families, which is 98% of the population. The rates on income above those figures would return to higher levels of the 1990s under the Obama plan.

Rubio insisted all the tax cuts should be extended, saying no one in America should pay higher taxes at a time of high unemployment and sluggish economic growth. "It's a bad time to raise taxes on anybody," Rubio said. "The only way to improve the economy is by growing the economy and fiscal constraint, and you have to do both."

Crist said that position showed Rubio's inability to break from rigid ideology. While Crist advocated a compromise, Meek backed the Obama position.

Source: CNN ElectionCenter coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate , Oct 24, 2010

Extend Bush tax cuts, even for high earners

There were obvious differences between Meek and Rubio. Meek supported the economic stimulus package and said it kept the country from going into a depression; Rubio said it was a failure. Meek said he would vote for the health care overhaul again and Rubio said it should be repealed. Meek wants to continue President George W. Bush's tax cuts for all except those who make more than $250,000, Rubio wants them extended for all earners.

"You think government creates jobs," Rubio said to Meek, cutting him off.

"No, I don't," Meek said.

"You do," Rubio said.

"I think tax cuts for small businesses create jobs and incentives for local communities to move forward," Meek said.

Crist added, "What you just witnessed is the problem and the reason I'm running as an independent. These two guys are going at each other because one's the Republican right, one's the Democratic left. What's true is there are good things that both parties can present to the future of our country."

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Florida Senate Debate , Oct 6, 2010

Address market uncertainty by making Bush cuts permanent

Q: What steps do you believe the federal government should take in order to create new jobs and facilitate a strong economic recovery?

A: I believe we need to directly address the uncertainty in the market caused by policies coming from Washington. We need to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, repeal Obamacare, halt regulations that hurt job creation and promote fair and free trade.

Source: League of Women Voters 2010 Candidate Questionnaire , Aug 11, 2010

2000: $4 surcharge to cruise tickets to fund Marlins stadium

Before the March 2000 session, Rubio was hardly the scorching conservative who would later woo Tea Partiers nationwide. He said he'd focus on supporting early education and community policing. And he wasn't particularly passionate about cutting spending. In his first three years, he supported adding a $4 surcharge to cruise tickets to fund a Marlins stadium and a $1.2 million earmark to build new bike paths in his district.
Source: Miami New Times coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate , Jul 22, 2010

Proposed to replace property taxes with state sales tax

CRIST: My opponent proposed the largest tax increase in the history of my state, about a $9 billion increase in taxes. He said it would be some kind of a swap & that justifies it. But it would have hit sales tax, which would have been the most regressive tax that you could imagine--in other words, people who can least afford it have to pay the same as people who can afford a lot more.

RUBIO: It would have eliminated property taxes for all sorts of people. You said you ran as a Jeb Bush Republican. Jeb Bush supported that plan. And later on, you supported a similar plan.

Q: It would have eliminated the property tax and substituted a state tax?

RUBIO: With a revenue-neutral sales tax.

CRIST: Not revenue-neutral. It would have increased sales tax.

RUBIO: 30% of our sales tax are paid for by non-Floridians. It would have been a massive tax cut for Floridians on their property taxes.

CRIST: To the contrary. It would have been a massive tax increase.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate , Mar 28, 2010

Pledged to never raise taxes as state rep

Q: [to Crist]: When you were running for governor in 2006, you pledged you would not raise taxes. Last year you signed a $2.2 billion increase in new taxes and fees. Didn't you break your promise?

CRIST: No, I don't think I did, [because the increases were all in fees].

RUBIO: I took a pledge when I became a state representative to never raise taxes. I never broke that pledge. And that's why the leader of that organization and basically every fiscally conservative group in the country has supported my candidacy.

CRIST: Actually, the speaker has broken that pledge.

RUBIO: The governor has broken his pledge. He broke it last year.

CRIST: No, that's not true. He voted for tax increases when he was on the West Miami City Commission, and he said on his Web site that he has never voted for a new tax. That's just not the truth, and he ought to be truthful to the people of Florida before he asks for their vote.

RUBIO: That's also inaccurate.

CRIST: [The press] just reported it yesterday.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate , Mar 28, 2010

Capital gains tax is double taxation

Jobs aren't created by politicians. They're created by people who are willing to use their money to start a business or expand an existing one and what they're looking for are clear signs from Washington that Washington is serious about pro-growth policies, about controlling spending, and about ending the practice of monetizing our budget shortfalls so here are a few measures that I think will help change or send that signal. Let's reform the tax code and reduce tax rates across the board. Let's eliminate double taxation by abolishing the taxes on capital gains, on dividends, on interest and while we're at it let's eliminate the one on death too. Let's significantly lower the corporate tax rate so once again it's competitive with the rest of the world. And finally let's undertake serious measures that show that we are serious about getting control of our federal national debt.
Source: Speech to 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 20, 2010

Simplify our tax code; reduce the tax burden

I have never voted for a tax increase. While I generally support tax cuts, I believe meaningful tax reform that simplifies our tax code, makes it easier to understand and is more fair to the taxpayer should be our ultimate goal.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.marcorubio.com, "Issues" , Feb 3, 2010

Supermajority vote for any tax increases

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio , Nov 1, 2006

Supports flat-rate federal tax; opposes increased tax rates.

Rubio supports the CC survey questions on flat tax

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q11a on Aug 11, 2010

Adopt a single-rate tax system.

Rubio signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform:

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words--the length of the original Constitution.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA04 on Jul 8, 2010

Repeal tax hikes in capital gains and death tax.

Rubio signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 10. Stop the Tax Hikes:

Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA10 on Jul 8, 2010

Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Rubio 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

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