What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : More Equitable Distribution of Tax Burden : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Vote to Express the Sense of the Senate that a Study Should Be Undertaken to Examine How to Implement a Flat Tax. (2003 senate Roll Call 150)
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Vote to Express the Sense of the Senate that a Study Should Be Undertaken to Examine How to Implement a Flat Tax.
senate Roll Call 150     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Some lawmakers and presidential contenders (most notably Steve Forbes in 1996 and 2000) have advanced flat tax proposals as a way to simply the tax code. Under a flat tax plan, all taxpayers would be taxed at the same rate. If the flat tax rate was set at ten percent, for instance, an individual earning $100,000 would pay $10,000 in taxes while a person with an income of $10,000 would owe $1000 in taxes. Flat tax proposals have not advanced far in the legislative process thus far in part because such proposals usually have the effect of increasing the tax liabilities of low-income earners and reducing the amount of taxes paid by high-income earners in comparison to tax liabilities under the current tax code. During Senate debate on legislation to reduce taxes, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) offered a "sense of the Senate" resolution-a non-binding measure which lacks the force of law-that would encourage the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Economic Committee to undertake a study on how implementing a flat tax would simplify the tax code and present the findings of the study to the Senate. Progressives opposed the resolution because a flat tax has already been shown to benefit wealthy individuals and impose additional costs on low income taxpayers. The Specter resolution was adopted on a 70-30 vote.

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