Tom Coburn on Taxes

Last Updated : Aug 25, 2010

Opposition to Frivolous Spending

 

Campaign Website Statements

Issues: Taxes

I support a repeal of the current code, and favor its replacement with a simpler, flatter tax that treats all Americans fairly. I am co-sponsoring the Fair Tax Act, which will do away with our complex, multi-layered tax code and replace it with a national sales tax. Rather than figuring out creative ways to steal more of our hard earned money, Congress should focus on eliminating the more than $350 billion in documented waste, fraud, or abuse that occurs annually within the federal government. This would negate the need for the massive and costly tax bureaucracy now in place. It would also make our products more competitively priced because it will remove the high costs already embedded into our products as a result of the current tax code.

It is clear that Washington has a spending addiction rather than a revenue problem. In fact, taxes are too high and have become a major burden for American families and businesses. The tax code is overly complex and costly, and backed by a system that assumes citizens are guilty until proven innocent. Further, American innovators are at a competitive disadvantage now because our nation has among the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Rather than figuring out creative ways to steal more of our hard earned money, Congress should focus on eliminating the more than $350 billion in documented waste, fraud, or abuse that occurs annually within the federal government.

 

Voting Record

Continue Bush Tax Cuts for all Except top Earners

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts with the exception of those earning more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. The measure passed 51-48 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. Tom Coburn voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Tom Coburn voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Continue All Bush Tax Cuts

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on an amendment to legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts. The measure failed 45-54 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. Tom Coburn voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

Tom Coburn voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

The Alternative Minimum Tax

The alternative minimum tax was created to ensure that a few of the richest Americans did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. It was never intended to be a method of taxing the general population. Unfortunately, the amount that a person earns before the tax goes into effect was not indexed to inflation. Therefore, each year Congress must enact a "fix" to adjust the amount. Occasionally, a larger increase is proposed than inflation adjustment. Income from the tax was accounted for in the 2009 budget. According to the rules of PAYGO (Pay As You Go), a decrease in the amount of money taken in must be offset by a reduction in spending. This amendment sought to exempt the AMT from that rule, to more accurately reflect the purpose of the tax. The amendment failed with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it in a 47-51 vote. Tom Coburn voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

Tom Coburn voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

The Estate Tax

The estate tax is a tax levied on the assets or estates of wealthy individuals when they pass away. The tax collects a percentage of the estates which are valued above a given amount. This amendment sought to raise the value of the estates affected from $1 Million to $5 Million, and to lower the maximum rate at which the estate can be taxed from 45% to 35%. The argument for the change was that many small farms now fell under this tax. The opposition stated that not enough revenue would be collected is the amount was raised, as the tax would affect only 0.2% of estates instead of 0.5% under the current limits. The amendment failed in a 50-50 vote with most Republicans supporting the amendment and most Democrats opposing it. Tom Coburn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

Tom Coburn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

The Estate Tax

In 2007, an amendment was proposed which would have raised the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%. This amendment would have also made the 2006 extended rates for capital gains and dividends permanent. The amendment was supported by most Republicans and opposed by most Democrats and failed in a 47-51 vote. Tom Coburn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Tom Coburn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Full Repeal of AMT

In 2007, congress made and attempt to repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT) completely. The legislation was defeated in a 44-53 vote with most Republicans supporting the legislation and most Democrats opposing it. Tom Coburn voted to repeal the AMT.

Tom Coburn voted to repeal the AMT.

Pension Protection Act of 2006

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 addressed regulations governing employer-sponsored pensions and acted to make the portions of the 2001 act which allowed higher contributions to IRAs. with the support of both parties. The bill got wide support from both parties and passed 93-5. Tom Coburn voted against the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Tom Coburn voted against the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act

In 2006, the senate voted on theEstate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act. This bill would have increased the estate tax exclusion to $5,000,000, effective 2015, and repealed the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes. It would also have lowered the estate tax rate to equal the current long-term capital gains tax rate for taxable estates up to $25 million and repealed the estate tax deduction paid to states. The bill failed to pass in a 56-42 vote. Tom Coburn voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Tom Coburn voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Death Tax Repeal Permanancy Act

In 2006, the Senate voted on legislation that would have permanantly repealed the "Death" or Estate Tax. The legislation was rejected on a 57-41 vote. Most Republicans supported the legislation and most Democrats opposed it. Tom Coburn voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Tom Coburn voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 extended previously lowered dividend income and capital gains through 2010, and made an increase to the AMT exemption. It also eliminated income restrictions on high-income taxpayers for converting traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to Roth IRAs. Most Republicans supported the legislation and about 1/3 of teh Democrats supported it. The bill passed in a 66-31 vote. with the support of both parties. Tom Coburn voted against the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Tom Coburn voted against the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 296; The Fair Tax - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2011, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2013. Terminates the sales tax imposed by this Act if the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this Act.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1025; The Fair Tax Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2009, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes and for state government functions. Allows families a sales tax rebate.Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY 2011. Establishes in the Department of the Treasury: (1) an Excise Tax Bureau to administer excise taxes not administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and (2) a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 25; Fair Tax Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23 percent in 2007, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes and for State government functions. Sets forth rules relating to: (1) the collection and remittance of the sales tax; and (2) credits and refunds. Allows families a sales tax rebate. Grants States the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 13; Fair Tax Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2013, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2015. Establishes in the Department of the Treasury: (1) an Excise Tax Bureau to administer excise taxes not administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and (2) a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax. Terminates the sales tax imposed by this Act if the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 296; Fair Tax Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Redesignates the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as the Internal Revenue Code of 2009. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2011, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Sets forth rules relating to: (1) the collection and remittance of the sales tax; and (2) credits and refunds. Allows a monthly sales tax rebate for families meeting certain size and income requirements.Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Sets forth administrative provisions relating to: (1) the filing of monthly reports and payments of tax; (2) accounting methods; (3) registration of sellers of goods and services responsible for reporting sales; (4) penalties for noncompliance; and (5) collections, appeals, and taxpayer rights. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to allocate sales tax revenues among: (1) the general revenue; (2) the old-age and survivors insurance trust fund; (3) the disability insurance trust fund; (4) the hospital insurance trust fund; and (5) the federal supplementary medical insurance trust fund. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2013.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 567; A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates - Cosponsor

Repeals the termination date in the Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 for provisions reducing individual tax rates on capital gains and dividend income.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 502; Capital Gains Rates - Cosponsor

A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 14; Invest in America Act - Cosponsor

A bill to repeal the sunset on certain tax rates and other incentives and to repeal the individual alternative minimum tax, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 988; Jobs Protection and Estate Tax Reform Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to accelerate the repeal of the tax on estates and generation-skipping transfers to January 1, 2005, and to make such repeal permanent.

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