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«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»

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Transportation Infrastructure. In July 2015, Hurd voted against a motion to recommit that “would help improve America’s roads, bridges, and highways by stopping corporations that seek to avoid paying their fair share of taxes by moving their business address to another country. Instead, those reclaimed resources will be invested in much-needed American transportation infrastructure improvements.” The motion was rejected by a vote of 185-244. [HR 3038, Vote #440, 7/15/2015; Democratic Leader – Motions to Recommit, 7/15/15] Supported Simpler Tax Code, “Possibly a Flat Tax” Which Would Shift Burden From Rich To Non-Rich Supported Simpler Tax Code, “Possibly a Flat Tax.” In 2014, Hurd favored a simpler tax code, “possibly a flat tax,” according to the Express-News. [San Antonio Express-News, 1/30/14] Flat Tax Would Shift Burden from Rich to Non Rich. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, lower tax rates for the wealthy under a flat tax will have to be financed by some combination of higher taxes on the middle class and larger budget deficits. A flat tax that raises the same revenues as our current tax code would shift a significant portion of the tax burden from the rich to average workers. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, under a flat tax, the fortunate few with incomes above $200,000 will see their taxes fall by an average of $53,940. [Falling Flat: The Dubious Case for a Flat Tax, Economic Policy Institute, 1/17/96] Flatter Tax Would Make the Tax System “Far Less Progressive,” Giving Millionaires a Tax Break. In 2011, Alan Binder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Eliminating the biggest deductions and exclusions is extremely unlikely, and flatter rates alone won’t make the tax system any simpler. It would, however, make it far less progressive […] Someone with $20 million in taxable income pays nearly $7 million in taxes under the current rate structure, with its 35% top rate. Replace that with a 23% flat tax, and the bill drops to just under $4.6 million. With a 9% tax (where in the world did I get that idea?), it’s below $1.8 million.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/14/11] Signed Pledge To Oppose All Tax Increases And Tax Breaks For Outsourcers 2015: Listed As Active Congressional Pledge Signer In ATR Database. As of June 2015, Hurd was listed as an active member of the ATR Pledge Database. [Americans For Tax Reform, accessed 12/08/15] Washington Post: ATR Pledge “Sometimes Means Protecting Tax Breaks That Republicans View As Bad Policy.” “On Capitol Hill, Norquist has admonished Coburn (Okla.), Crapo (Idaho) and Chambliss (Ga.) for suggesting a tax option for tackling the debt: reducing credits and deductions worth an estimated $1 trillion a year. Although most of the cash would be used to lower tax rates for everyone, a portion would be dedicated to restoring national solvency. No good, says Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. Under the pledge, raising revenue in any way requires an equal tax cut elsewhere to avoid expanding the size of government. And, yes, that sometimes means protecting tax breaks that Republicans view as bad public policy, Norquist and his supporters say.” [Washington Post, 6/05/11] Signers Of ATR’s Pledge Are Committed To Protecting Tax Breaks For Companies Outsourcing American Jobs. In 2010, Democrats advanced a proposal that would “eliminate tax breaks for some multinational corporations based in the United States that have operations abroad -- a centerpiece of a House Democratic campaign to promote domestic manufacturing and discourage companies from shipping jobs overseas.” In a statement explaining their opposition, ATR wrote that “Because this bill is a NET INCOME TAX HIKE, it violates the Taxpayer Protection Pledge that 174 Congressmen have made to their constituents and the American people. H.R. 1586 violates the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. ATR will be key-voting against it. The tax increases in question are all tax hikes on U.S. employers doing business overseas.” [Washington Post, 8/05/10; Americans for Tax Reform, 8/09/10] Voted Against Requiring State & Local Tax Deduction Legislation To Not Increase Deficit Or Delay Comprehensive Tax Reform Voted Against Requiring State & Local Tax Deduction Legislation To Not Increase Deficit Or Delay Comprehensive Tax Reform. In April 2015, Hurd voted against a motion that would prevent deficit increases or delays in overall tax reform as a result of state & local tax deduction legislation. The motion also provided a one year extension of a state and local sales tax deduction rather than a permanent extension to make sure Congress could perform fiscally responsible tax extensions. The motion failed, 179-243. [HR 622, Vote #158, 4/16/15; CQ News, 4/16/15] Voted To Make Individuals With Delinquent Tax Debt Ineligible For Federal Employment Voted To Make Individuals With Severely Delinquent Tax Debt Ineligible For Federal Employment. In April 2015, Hurd voted for a bill that would make individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debt” ineligible for federal employment, and would include existing federal employees. The bill failed, 266-160. A two thirds majority was required to pass the bill, under suspension of the rules. [HR 1563, Vote #157, 4/15/15; CQ News, 4/15/15] Bill Opponents Noted That Tax Compliance Rate Was 97 Percent For Civil Servants.

“Opponents noted in debate that the tax compliance rate for civil servants was 97 percent in 2014, compared to 95 percent for House members and their staffs and 91 percent for the public at large.





Civil servants owed $1.14 billion in delinquent taxes last year.” [Bakersfield Californian, 4/18/15] Voted Against Preventing Tax Deductions For Executive Bonuses Exceeding $1 Million Voted Against Preventing Tax Deductions For Executive Bonuses Exceeding $1 Million. In January 2015, Hurd voted against a motion that would prevent companies from claiming tax deductions for executive bonuses exceeding $1 million if they failed to give lower level employees raises to match increases in the cost of living. The motion failed, 168-243. [H Res 5, Vote #5, 1/06/15; CQ Floor Votes, 1/06/15]

Voted To Repeal Federal Estate Tax

Voted For Repealing Estate Tax. In April 2015, Hurd voted for repealing the estate tax. “The measure also would repeal the generation-skipping transfer tax and reduce the top marginal rate for the federal gift tax from 40 percent to 35 percent.” The bill passed, 240-179. [HR 1105, Vote #161, 4/16/15; CQ News, 4/16/15] USA Today: “Repealing Estate Tax Would Reward.2%.” “Of the nearly 3 million Americans who die every year, only about two-tenths of 1% have enough assets to qualify. It’s a rather exclusive group. This isn’t to disparage people who worked hard enough (or, in some cases, were lucky enough) to have estates that big. It’s just that, at a time when income inequality is one of the nation’s most vexing problems, the 0.2% hardly need extra help from Congress.” [Editorial, USA Today, 4/16/15] CBPP: “Roughly 2 Of Every 1,000 Estates Face The Estate Tax.” “Today, 99.8 percent of estates owe no estate tax at all, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.[3] Only the estates of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans -- roughly 2 out of every 1,000 people who die -- owe any estate tax. (See Figure 1.) This is because of the tax’s high exemption amount, which has jumped from $650,000 per person in 2001 to $5.43 million per person in 2015.” [CBPP, “10 Facts You Should Know About The Federal Estate Tax,” 3/23/15] Bill Impacted Fewer Than 6,000 Families. “This tax is levied on the portion of estates exceeding $5.43 million per person or $10.86 million per married couple, and because of those exemption levels, it affects less than 1 percent of estates, or fewer than 6,000 families in 2014.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/19/15] Bill Would Add $269 Billion To National Debt. “Voting 240 for and 179 against, the House on April 16 passed a GOP-sponsored bill (HR 1105) that would permanently repeal the federal estate tax in a way that would add $269 billion to national debt through fiscal 2025.” [Albuquerque Journal, 4/19/15] PolitiFact: False – “Estate Tax ‘In Many Cases’ Forces Family Farmers And Small Business Owners To Sell Their Holdings. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates only 6 tenths of 1 percent of estates with farms qualified for the tax in 2013. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that there were 20 small, closely held farms and businesses that were subject to the tax that year. It’s unknown how many of them, if any at all, were sold to pay the levy. So Hurt’s statement comes up empty. We rate it False.” [PolitiFact, 5/03/15] Voted For Considering Estate Tax Repeal On House Floor. In April 2015, Hurd voted for considering a bill repealing the federal estate tax on the House floor. The rule was adopted, 242-182. [HRes 200, Vote #155, 4/15/15; CQ Votes, 4/15/15] Voted Against Preventing Giving Tax Benefits To Those Convicted Of Tax Fraud Voted Against Preventing Giving Inheritance Tax Benefits To Those Convicted Of Tax Evasion Or Fraud. In April 2015, Hurd voted against a motion to recommit that would have prevented giving inheritance tax benefits to those convicted of tax evasion or fraud. The motion “would disqualify from the bill’s provisions individuals convicted of attempting to evade the gift tax or before the bill’s enactment engaged in a transaction with intent to evade the estate tax.” The motion failed, 186-232. [HR 1105, Vote #160, 4/16/15; CQ Votes, 4/16/15]

Voted For Permanently Allowing Taxpayers To Deduct State And Local Sales Taxes

Voted For Permanently Allowing Taxpayers To Deduct State And Local Sales Taxes. In April 2015, Hurd voted for a bill “that would make permanent the ability of taxpayers to deduct state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes, which expired at the end of 2014. The measure would be effective for tax years beginning with 2015.” The bill passed, 272-152. [HR 622, Vote #159, 4/16/15; CQ News, 4/16/15] Bill Not Paid For, Would Add $42 Billion To National Debt. “Because the bill is not paid for, it would add $42 billion to national debt through fiscal 2025.” [Albuquerque Journal, 4/19/15] Voted For Considering State And Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act On House Floor. In April 2015, Hurd voted for considering the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015 on the House floor. The rule was adopted, 242-182. [HRes 200, Vote #155, 4/15/15; CQ Votes, 4/15/15]

Voted For Research Tax Credits

Voted For Permanent Research And Tax Development Tax Credit. In May 2015, Hurd voted for the American Research Competitiveness Act of 2015. “H.R. 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 (Brady) to simplify and make the research & development tax credit permanent.” The bill passed 274 to 145. [HR 880, Vote #260, 5/20/15; Roll Call, 5/01/15] Voted Against Extending Research Tax Credit By Two Years And Preventing Deficit Increase. In May 2015, Hurd voted against a motion to recommit with instructions for the American Research Act of 2015. “Motion to recommit the bill to the House Ways and Means Committee with instructions to report back immediately with an amendment that would remove the bill’s proposal to make permanent the research and development tax credit that expired at the end of calendar year 2014, and change the way elements of the credit are calculated. The bill would replace those provisions with language that would extend the credit for two years and would state that the bill shall not result in increasing the deficit or delaying or weakening efforts to adopt a permanent extension of the research credit in a ‘fiscally responsible manner.’” The motion failed, 181-240. [HR 880, Vote #259, 5/20/15; CQ, 5/22/15]

Suggested He Was Open to the Fair Tax

Suggested He Was Open to the Fair Tax. In April 2010, when asked if he would support the fair tax, Hurd said that he would be willing to “evaluate” any proposal that would lower taxes. “My position on taxes is pretty simple; they need to be simpler and they need to be lower, and anything that gets us to that direction is something that should be evaluated,” said Hurd. [2010 4.1 TX23 Debate Part 2, 13:05] …Though Fair Tax Hits Middle Class and Cuts Taxes for Corporations and Millionaires. The Fair Tax would impose a 23 percent national sales tax on all of us, while eliminating federal income taxes for corporations and reducing them for millionaires.

The Fair Tax Would Eliminate Federal Income Taxes for Corporations. According to Americans for Fair Taxation, the group that is backing the effort to impose a Fair Tax, the tax would replace the individual income tax, payroll taxes, the corporate income tax, the self-employment tax, and the estate tax. [Americans for Fair Taxation, “The Fair Tax Act of 2007 – HR 25: Plain English Summary,” fairtax.org, accessed 7/30/08]

–  –  –

Note: This data is from September 2004 and is likely outdated, but nonetheless instructive.

…Though Fair Tax Hits Families Buying Essentials. Under the Fair Tax, families would be hit hard, paying a 23 percent sales tax on nearly everything they buy, including groceries, prescription drugs, clothing, and gas.

NOTE: The Fair Tax does not apply to the purchase of used goods or education expenses.

Fair Tax Would Apply to All Goods and Services Sold at Retail. According to Americans for Fair Taxation, the group that is backing the effort to impose a Fair Tax, the tax would apply to all goods and services sold at retail. It would NOT apply to the purchase of used goods or to education

expenses. From Americans for Fair Taxation:



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