Tim Kaine on Tax Reform

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor


Keep Bush tax cuts except for the wealthy

Allen called Kaine's plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for those making $500,000 or more is a tax hike, and added that hiking taxes is a bad idea in a struggling economy. Allen promoted growing the economy through shrinking the corporate tax level to 20% for most businesses, which should allow them to hire more workers, and increase the tax base. Allen also proposed eliminating tax loopholes, and to reform the entire tax code.

Kaine promoted his compromise proposal of keeping the Bush tax cut levels for those who make less than $500,000 a year, and allowing them to expire for people with higher incomes. Kaine said doing so will add up to about half of the money needed to balance the budget, and help make it easier to find other targeted cuts to avoid the mandatory spending cuts. Kaine believes Allen's plan of not allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those who make $500,000 or more, will not work, and possibly add to the deficit.

Source: WSLS-TV-10 on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Oct 18, 2012

Open to some minimum income tax level for everyone

Q: Please comment on Mitt Romney's contention that only 47% of Americans pay taxes?

KAINE: Well, everyone pays taxes; the statistics that have come out.

Q: I'm asking about federal income taxes.

KAINE: I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone.

ALLEN: It is typical of Tim Kaine. His record is one of always looking to raise taxes.

Kaine argued that he wasn't calling for a minimum across the board tax, but rather showing that he is open to any suggestions.

Source: NBC-12 coverage of 2012 Virginia Senate Debate , Sep 20, 2012

No budget-busting tax cuts; we can't afford to try it again!

The last time [Republicans] were in charge, the other side turned a record surplus into a massive deficit with two wars, trillions in tax breaks, loopholes and entitlements they wouldn't pay for. Now, they're pushing budget-busting tax cuts and economy-busting spending cuts.

To pay for their plan, they'd slash middle-class tax breaks, raising taxes on the middle class. They'd turn Medicare into a voucher system. And rather than raise taxes on the wealthy by a single penny, they'd put thousands of defense jobs at risk. Let's be clear: That's not fiscally responsible. That's fiscally reckless.

We can't afford to try it again! We need to move forward, because while we've made progress, we still have a long way to go. We'll only get there if we elect leaders who put results ahead of ideology.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech , Sep 4, 2012

Balance taxes: let Bush tax cuts expire at the top end

them, and voting for these big tax increases, the deficit has ballooned because of policies that George Allen pursued when he was a Senator. The right strategy on the Bush tax cuts, is to let them expire at the top end, over $500k. and the reason you do that is because we should also be making a lot of cuts in the budget, and those cuts are gonna fall hardest on middle and lower income people. it's balance; you cut tax rates, eliminate exclusions, let some of the tax cuts expire--that's balance." Kaine did part with national Democrats on a key tactical matter in the current debate: "You've got Democrats in the senate right now who are doing something I don't like, which is saying we want to fund something with a millionaire's tax. I think that is used because millionaires don't poll well--that is a bad way to do tax policy. All we've got to do is deal with the Bush tax cuts.
Source: Eric Kleefeld reporting on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Dec 7, 2011

No need for millionaire's tax: just let Bush cuts expire

It's $4 trillion of potential deficit reduction, depending on how we deal with that. And again, George and his colleagues promised that these were going to be temporary tax cuts. If you let them expire at the top end, you get hundreds of billions of dollars that you can use to then combine with spending cuts to make things happen. And that's the approach we need." Allen criticized Kaine for accepting the role of chairman of the Democratic National Committee, saying he should have spent his final year as governor on state priorities, "not the national partisan role of advocating for the likes of, not only President Obama's policies, but those of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid."

"The likes of President Obama?" Kaine responded.

"Well, the policies and agenda of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid," said

Source: Eric Kleefeld reporting on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Dec 7, 2011

Replace income tax for low-income with cigarette tax

I have previously pledged to you that I would not meet our budget shortfall through a general tax increase. The budget I have proposed is true to that pledge. And, we maintain tax cuts that we have already put in place--elimination of the estate tax, sales tax holidays, and the elimination of all income taxes for nearly 140,000 low-income Virginia workers.

However, I do propose one targeted tax increase. To avoid even deeper cuts that would mean denying health care services to some of our poor, elderly, and disabled, I propose a 30 cent per pack increase in our cigarette tax. This will bring Virginia's tobacco tax up to about half the national average. Virginia's current cigarette excise tax covers less than half the $400 million in Medicaid costs that smoking creates. I believe that the taxes on smoking should more closely match the budget costs that taxpayers incur because of smoking. Under my proposal, fewer of Virginians' tax dollars will be diverted to cover the costs of smoking.

Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address , Jan 14, 2009

Increase income tax filing threshold from $7,000 to $12,000

Keeping Virginia's tax burden low is another key to the success of families and businesses. In 2006, we eliminated the estate tax, created a sales tax holiday on back-to-school supplies, and passed legislation to give citizens more information about their annual property tax bills. Our overall tax burden is the 6th lowest in the nation. Virginia is, and will remain, a low tax state.

Let's provide meaningful tax relief for hundreds of thousands of Virginians by increasing the filing threshold for state income tax from $7,000 to $12,000 for an individual and from $14,000 to $24,000 for a married couple. With this change, we can eliminate income tax liability for an estimated 147,000 Virginians. And we can save approximately 176,000 more people from the hassle of having taxes deducted from their paychecks, only to file a tax return at year's end to receive a complete refund.

Source: 2007 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 10, 2007

Exempt first 20% of home value from property taxes

We should give local governments an important tool to reduce homeowner's taxes. By approving a constitutional amendment allowing local governments to exempt up to 20% of the value of an owner-occupied home or farm, you will allow targeted tax relief to homeowners, consistent with local needs and priorities.
Source: 2007 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 10, 2007

Proven record of cutting taxes

Families face challenges every day in balancing their household budgets, providing for their children, and saving for their future. I understand that every tax dollar government has to spend comes out of a family budget.

I have a proven record of cutting taxes. At the local and at the state level, I have fought to help families keep more of their hard-earned dollars, stimulating the economy and expanding opportunity for all Virginians.

Source: 2005 Gubernatorial campaign website kaine2005.org, “Issues” , Nov 8, 2005

Supports increasing tax rates.

Kaine supports the CC Voters Guide question on tax rates

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Increasing federal income tax rates"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q11a on Oct 31, 2012

$12B in federal economic stimulus as state block grants.

Kaine signed $12B in federal economic stimulus as state block grants

The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' F Congress approved $20 billion in assistance to states, including $10 billion in Medicaid and $10 billion in block grants. The governors' current stimulus proposal is essentially the same, with the exception that it is a total of $12 billion as opposed to $20 billion. This proposal can be enacted quickly, as there is precedent and it is timely, temporary and targeted.

Additionally, governors appreciate federal efforts to use tax policy to get additional money into the hands of consumers and businesses to stimulate the economy. When considering tax changes to spur economic growth, governors urge Congress and the Administration to follow the maxim of "Do no harm" by avoiding changes at the federal level that would diminish state tax revenues or force state actions that would undermine the effectiveness of federal efforts.

We look forward to working with you to enact the appropriate stimulus program.

Source: Letter from 37 governors to House & Senate Leadership NGA-0801TX on Jan 28, 2008

Other governors on Tax Reform: Tim Kaine on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Ken Cuccinelli
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
VA Senatorial:
Ed Gillespie
James Webb
Mark Warner
Robert Sarvis

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2016:
DE: Bonini(R) vs.Carney(D)
IN: Pence(R) vs.Gregg(D)
MO: Hanaway(R) vs.Brunner(R) vs.Kinder(R) vs.Greitens(R)
MT: Bullock(D) vs.Perea(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.McChesney(D)
NC: McCrory(R) vs.Cooper(D) vs.Spaulding(D)
ND: Dalrymple(R) vs.Stenehjem(R) vs.Becker(R) vs.Heitkamp(D) vs.Pomeroy(D)
NH: Hassan(D) vs.Bradley(R) vs.Sununu(R) vs.Lavoie(R) vs.Connolly(D) vs.Dextraze(I)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Niemeyer(R) vs.Pierce(R)
UT: Herbert(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Cook(D)
VT: Shumlin(D) vs.Minter(D) vs.Dunne(D) vs.Scott(R) vs.Lisman(R) vs.Smith(D)
WA: Inslee(D) vs.Bryant(R)
WV: Kessler(R) vs.Cole(D)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2015):
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
OR-D: Kate Brown
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Lame ducks 2015-16:
DE-D: Jack Markell
(term-limited 2016)
KY-D: Steve Beshear
(term-limited 2015)
LA-R: Bobby Jindal
(term-limited 2015)
MO-D: Jay Nixon
(term-limited 2016)
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
(retiring 2016)
WV-D: Earl Ray Tomblin
(term-limited 2016)
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Page last updated: Jul 08, 2016