Jon Tester on Tax Reform

Democratic Jr Senator


Trump tax cuts were a disastrous handout for jet-owners

Q: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

Matt Rosendale (R): Yes. "Bigger paychecks & more jobs for Montanans. This is your money & you should be deciding how to invest or spend it--not the government."

Jon Tester (D): "Disastrous." "Need reform for hardworking Montanans, not a handout for jet-owners paid for by our kids & grandkids."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Montana Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

GOP tax plan saddles future generations with more debt

Republican Senate challenger Matt Rosendale said he's seen reports that there are hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. because of the tax reform package. "That's one of the things that Jon Tester has voted against in opposition to the desires of the people of Montana," Rosendale said. Sen. Tester voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, calling it a "disastrous plan" in a statement last December.

"This tax scheme not only, it also raises taxes on Montana families in the long run, forces cuts to Medicare, and caps deductions that allow Montanans to keep more of their hard-earned money in their wallets," Tester said. "This all takes place while corporate tax cuts remain permanent, inflating the bank accounts of big business and leaving the folks who do the hard work with smaller paychecks."

Rosendale said Tester's vote against the bill was one of the reasons he is motivated to run for U.S. Senate.

Source: The Missoulian on 2018 Montana Senate race , Aug 9, 2018

Extend Bush exemption for inheritance tax up to $10M

[The debate] marked yet another tired back-and-forth on the estate tax, referred to by conservatives as the "death tax." Tester favors extending the Bush-era tax cut exemption for couples inheriting estates worth less than $10 million; Rehberg wants to deep-six the tax completely. The discussion between the candidates didn't, and never has, addressed the fact that, according to a study conducted by a trio of IRS researchers, only two to three percent of all deaths in the U.S. were subject to estate taxation even under the Clinton-era exemption of $1 million. In 1998, only 50,089 of the 103,892 people who filed estate tax returns actually paid any taxes. That's the type of fact we'd like to see dropped in a debate like this.
Source: Missoula News on 2012 Montana Senate debate , Oct 22, 2012

Limit inheritance tax to estates over $5 million

Asked about an inheritance tax being reinstated on Jan. 1, Tester said he favors having an exemption for the first $5 million in inheritance. Rehberg said he favors eliminating the "death tax" entirely.
Source: Daily Inter Lake on 2012 Montana Senate debates , Oct 14, 2012

Focus tax cuts on the middle class, not the rich

BURNS: We've got to make the tax cuts from 2001 & 2003 permanent. I voted to make it permanent so we won't face that higher federal obligation.

TESTER: If we're going to talk about tax cuts, let's focus them on the middle class, when the bulk of that tax cut he talks about is focused on the very richest rich. The middle class needs to have some support in the tax code, so we best not be messing around and let's do it. Instead of taking away things like the college tax credit, for working families trying to send their kids to college, which Burns did, and increase the taxes on them. Instead of talking about the marriage penalty, let's make it so it isn't a penalty. But why do we have to give tax breaks to Paris Hilton in the process? That tax program that he talks about is dependent on deficit spending to make it work. Deficit spending is putting a tax on our children of $28,000 -- every child is born with a $28,000 tax, in the form a national debt. It's time we had some common sense.

Source: 2006 MT Senate debate, Tester vs. Burns in Butte , Sep 24, 2006

Lowering state taxes shifts burden to local property tax

Q: As state senate president in 2005, you oversaw an increase of $1 billion in spending. What about fiscal restraint?

TESTER: Every tax cut measure had the unforeseen consequence of raising the property tax. We can be the good guys at the state level, but that'd just make the school boards and county governments increase the mill levies [of the local property tax], and that's not the way I do business. I'm accountable for what I do and I wasn't going to support that tax pullback. Some of that money went to increasing teacher's salaries, without forcing school boards to increase their mill levies, and in some cases could actually have them reduce their local property taxes. Last session, we eliminated taxes on 13,000 small businesses and we didn't increase taxes. That's the record with the Democratic governor and Democratic senate. We did it within a balanced budget, and we did it on time.

BURNS: He eliminated the business taxes on 13,000 businesses--but raised them on 16,000 businesses.

Source: 2006 MT Senate debate, Tester vs. Burns in Butte , Sep 24, 2006

Bush's tax cuts are irresponsible

Tester condemned cuts to critical federal programs proposed by Pres. Bush, including significant cuts that would hurt Montana families, seniors, & schoolchildren for years to come. "The President has proposed irresponsible cuts that will affect Montana's most vulnerable," Tester said. "Cuts like this hit close to home. A 5% across-the-board cut to crop subsidies, cuts to energy assistance programs, and elimination of education programs for our kids-these cuts will hurt Montanans from all walks of life."
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, testerforsenate.com, "Issues" , Feb 8, 2006

CC:Reverse federal income tax cuts.

Tester opposes the CC survey question on keeping tax cuts

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Make federal income tax cuts permanent' Christian Coalition's self-description: "Christian Voter Guide is a clearing-house for traditional, pro-family voter guides. We do not create voter guides, nor do we interview or endorse candidates."

Source: Christian Coalition Surve 18CC-11a on Jul 1, 2018

CC:Keep the inhertiance tax.

Tester opposes the CC survey question on eliminating Death Tax

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Permanent Elimination of the "Death Tax"' Christian Coalition's self-description: "Christian Voter Guide is a clearing-house for traditional, pro-family voter guides. We do not create voter guides, nor do we interview or endorse candidates."

Source: Christian Coalition Surve 18CC-11b on Jul 1, 2018

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