Bernard Sanders on Taxes

Last Updated : Nov 09, 2011

Opposition to the Bush Tax Cuts

In April of 2007, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting his support for allowing the Bush Tax cuts to expire.

 

Restore the Estate Tax

On June 24, 2010 Senator Sanders released a press statement noting his view that the estate tax should be reinstated on billionaires.

 

End Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

In November of 2010, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting his support for ending the Bush Tax cuts.

 

Opposition to Tax Cut Deal

In December of 2010, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting his opposition to the tax cut and debt ceiling deal.

 

A Millionaire Surtax

In March of 2011, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting his support for a millionaire surtax.

 

A Scandal

In March of 2011, Senator Sanders spoke on the Senate floor about the need for shared sacrifice in the economy. He discusses a number of companies that made large profits, but paid a small amount in taxes.

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. Bernard Sanders voted in favor extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Bernard Sanders voted in favor 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. Bernard Sanders voted against extending all Bush Tax cuts.

Bernard Sanders voted against 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. Bernard Sanders voted against the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

Bernard Sanders voted against 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. Bernard Sanders voted against the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

Bernard Sanders voted against 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. Bernard Sanders voted against the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Bernard Sanders voted against 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. Bernard Sanders voted against repealing the AMT.

Bernard Sanders voted against repealing the AMT.

Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 was passed into law in 2006 and contained a wide array of tax cut extensions for everything from making improvements to your house, to state and local sales tax exemptions, and to make improvements to DC. It also contained a provision for health savings accounts. The bill got wide support and passed the house with about 25% of Democrats opposing it. Bernard Sanders voted against the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

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 279-131. Bernard Sanders voted against the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

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 234-197 vote with the support of both parties. Bernard Sanders voted against the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004

The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 extended the 10 percent bracket on income tax created in the 2001 legislation, doubled the child tax credit, extended the previous AMT exemption and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The legislation was widely supported and passed 339-65. Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

American Jobs Creation Act of 2004

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 allowed individuals to claim a deduction for state and local sales taxes paid, in lieu of deducting state income taxes. It also increased tax credits for business investment abroad, and temporarily increased the expensing provisions for corporations. The bill passed 251-178 with the support and opposition of both parties. Bernard Sanders voted against the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Bernard Sanders voted against the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

A bill to end the marriage penalty

In 2004, the house voted on a bill to fix the marriage penalty tax. The bill increased the standard deduction for married taxpayers and increased the deducitons for the 15 percent bracket. The bill got wide support in the vote and passed with only 1/3 of the Democrats opposing it. The bill was not brought up for a vote in the Senate. Bernard Sanders voted in favor of ending the marriage penalty.

Bernard Sanders voted in favor of ending the marriage penalty.

Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003

In the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief reconciliation Act of 2003 tax rates on realized capital gains received by individual shareholders were reduced from 10 percent (for taxpayers in tax brackets where the ordinary income tax rate was 15 percent or below) and 20 percent (for all other brackets) to 5 percent and 15 percent, respectively, through 2007 and to 0 and 15 percent in 2008. It also adjusted the AMT exemption limit, expanded the child tax credit, and accelerated some of the earlier aspects of the previous laws. The bill was supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats, and passed in a 222-203 vote. Bernard Sanders voted against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002

The main provision of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 was to create a bonus depreciation. This bonus depreciation allowed firms to claim extra deductions for depreciation of a long-term physical capital investment during the early years. This reduces corporate profits and therefore taxes. The act was supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats 85-9. Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001

In 2001, the house voted on legislation to end the "Death Tax", otherwise known as the Estate Tax, which applies a tax to estates large than a given amount. The bill passed the house with the support of almost all Republicans and about 1/4 of the Democrats. Bernard Sanders voted against the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

The first piece of legislation was passed in 2001 as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 The act was especially sweeping. Its two most prominent changes were a phased-in reduction in income tax rates and a reduction and eventual repeal (at the beginning of 2010) of the estate tax. It also provided a wide range of tax breaks for education, families with children, married couples, and contributions to certain kinds of savings accounts. While all republicans voted in favor of this legislation, most democrats opposed it. Bernard Sanders voted against the EGTRRA of 2001.

Bernard Sanders voted against the EGTRRA of 2001.

Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000

In 2000, the house voted on a bill to fix the marriage penalty tax. The bill increased the standard deduction for married taxpayers and increased the deducitons for the 15 percent bracket. The bill got wide support in the vote and passed with only 1/3 of the Democrats opposing it. The bill was vetoed by the President.

Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000

The house also attempted to pass a repeal of the Death Tax in 2000. This time, the bill was supported by almost all Republicans and by about 1/4 of the Democrats. The bill was vetoed by the President. Bernard Sanders voted against the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 506; Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act - Cosponsor

Amends Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to tax shelter activities to: (1) establish legal presumptions against the validity of transactions involving offshore secrecy jurisdictions (i.e., foreign tax havens identified in this Act and by the Secretary of the Treasury); (2) impose restrictions on foreign jurisdictions, financial institutions, or international transactions that are of primary money laundering concern or that impede U.S. tax enforcement; (3) treat certain foreign corporations managed and controlled primarily in the United States as domestic corporations; (4) increase the period for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) review of tax returns involving offshore secrecy jurisdictions; (5) require tax withholding agents and financial institutions to report certain information about beneficial owners of foreign-owned financial accounts and accounts established in offshore secrecy jurisdictions; (6) disallow tax advisor opinions validating transactions in offshore secrecy jurisdictions; (7) subject dividend equivalents and substitute dividends to the 30% tax on foreign income; and (8) impose reporting requirements for transactions involving a passive foreign investment company.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 181; Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Makes provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 that eliminate the marriage penalty in the standard deduction, the 15-percent tax bracket, and the earned income tax credit, permanent.

Session-109; Bill Number-H R 2631; Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act - Cosponsor

To affirm the religious freedom of taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war, to provide that the income, estate, or gift tax payments of such taxpayers be used for nonmilitary purposes, to create the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund to receive such tax payments, to improve revenue collection, and for other purposes.

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