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Jon Huntsman on Tax Reform

Republican UT Governor


Individual tax rates: 8%, 14%, 24%; corporate rate: 25%

You ought to be given a competitive tax code. We need to clear out the cobwebs. We need to clear out the deductions, the loopholes, the corporate welfare, and all the subsidies. And we leave it at 8%, 14%, 24%--those are the three rates that I think would work on the individual income side.

On the corporate side, I think we recognize the reality that a whole lot of companies can afford to have lobbyists and lawyers on Capitol Hill working their magic. Let's recognize the reality that they're all paying 35%. We need to lower that to 255. So let's phase out the corporate subsidies and clean out the cobwebs and leave it more competitive for the 21st century.

I can tell you, by doing that with our tax code--and I know, because we did it in a state that took us to the number-one job creator in this country--it will leave you and your generation a whole lot better off.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Eliminate loopholes & make code flatter & simpler

Rather than tinker with a broken and outdated tax system, I propose bold reform which eliminates loopholes, special interest carve-outs and subsidies, while lowering rates across the board to make our tax code flatter, fairer, simpler and more conducive to growth. My plan also eliminates burdensome regulations like Obamacare, promotes energy independence, and opens more global markets for American products by expanding free trade.
Source: www.jon2012.com, response to 2011 Jobs Speech , Sep 8, 2011

Let's take a pledge to not take any pledges, including taxes

Q: Everyone up here has taken a pledge not to raise taxes. Dangerous business to you?

HUNTSMAN: I'd love to get everybody to sign a pledge to take no pledges. I have a pledge to my wife, and I pledge allegiance to my country, but beyond that, no pledges. I think it diminishes the political discussion. I think it jeopardizes your ability to lead once you get there. And I started when I first ran for governor in 2004, as someone who wanted to pin me down on taxes, I said, no thanks, I'm not going to sign it. I didn't raise taxes. We had historic tax cuts in our state. So look at somebody's record. That's always a pretty good indicator and barometer of where they're likely to go.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

FactCheck: Created UT flat tax;but only top rate got 30% cut

At a NH campaign event, Huntsman said that as Utah governor, "We got a flat tax out of it; we cut income taxes by 30%; it was cost-neutral; we took out the deductions. And you know what? The state came to life in part because of that.''

How accurate is that claim? Huntsman's campaign explained that when Huntsman took office, there were six income tax brackets ranging from 2.3% to 7%. Ultimately, Huntsman and the Legislature approved a single rate of 5%. They created a much flatter tax, stripping away most of the deductions and credits. In general, most taxpayers ended up paying less in taxes.

Did Huntsman "cut income taxes by 30%"? We find that is a significant exaggeration: The statutory top tax bracket before and after the tax system declined fro 7% to 5%, which is a decrease of 28.6%. But that doesn't address the lower tax brackets. Remember, the lowest rate went up from 2.3% to 5%, but they got some tax credits. So Huntsman's 30 percent decrease in the statutory rate didn't apply to them.

Source: FactCheck on 2011 Presidential primary by PolitiFact.com , Jul 4, 2011

Pro-business agenda, including targeted tax cuts

As ambassador, he refuses to wade into the high-profile political fights of the day. But while serving as governor of Utah, he pursued an aggressively pro-business agenda--including targeted tax cuts and foreign-trade missions --that helped create the nation's second-fastest-growing economy over the last five years. And his current post as ambassador to China provides him with the street cred of a fully converted deficit hawk.
Source: Newsweek profile, "The Manchurian Candidate" , Jan 4, 2011

Historically high tax burden is now below national average

Thanks to the entrepreneurs, innovators and hard-workers of our State, personal income rose nearly ten percent last year, outperforming every state in the nation.

Our historically high tax burden is now below the national average. And we have the lowest tax rate since the implementation of the State income tax. Thank you members of the Legislature; you passed tax reform unanimously last session, and this month, it is a reality!

Source: Utah 2008 State of the State address , Jan 22, 2008

Removed half of the sales tax on food

Last year, together with the Legislature, we removed half of the State portion of sales tax on food and took an initial step in adopting a flatter, fairer, income tax that will help Utah keep its competitive edge. We established a dual tax system, now recognized nationally, that gives individual taxpayers the choice of either paying under our old income tax system or simply paying a flat 5.35 percent in income taxes. As a result of this action, every Utahn will receive income tax relief.
Source: Utah 2007 State of the State address , Jan 16, 2007

Restructure taxes to be more business-friendly

Source: Gubernatorial website, www.utah.gov/governor/ , Nov 11, 2006

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

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

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Tax Reform: Jon Huntsman on other issues:
UT Gubernatorial:
Gary Herbert
UT Senatorial:
Mike Lee
Orrin Hatch

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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Contact info:
Campaign website:
www.jon2012.com
Email
Mailing Address:
255 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 600, Orlando, FL 32801
Phone:
(407) 674-2727
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Page last updated: Nov 05, 2011