Americans are feeling the strain of high inflation, and states have been posting surpluses and exceeding revenue expectations. This has led to states cutting taxes, 14 passed tax relief in 2021, and some handing out checks – see California’s latest spending binge. People are voting with their feet and Red States that are cutting taxes, or already have no income tax, are winning the competition. Permanent tax relief is proving to be the way to go. With new candidates running for Governor in 36 states, we take a look at where they stand on tax reform. While some have only expressed their concern over the issue and have provided no plans on how they would address it, other candidates have come out with specific tax reforms they would look to pass should they be elected.
Republican candidate for Governor of Kansas Derek Schmidt is one candidate who has recently released plans on how he would cut taxes. His proposal, titled “Retire Tax Free,” aims at eliminating state income tax on social security retirement benefits, both public and private pensions, defined contribution retirement plan such as 401(k)s, retirement annuities, and individual retirement accounts. This plan is a great way to help save money for seniors who are on a fixed income, especially during a time when the basic cost of living is increasing.
Republican candidate for Governor of Connecticut Bob Stefanowski has also recently outlined how he plans on providing tax relief to voters. Stefanowski says he wants to reduce the state income tax rate from 6.35% to 5.99%, temporarily suspend the state wholesale tax on gasoline, end the 1% surcharge on prepared foods, and eliminate the highway use tax for heavy trucks. But not every candidate has presented beneficial tax reliefs plans; in fact, some proposals would make things worse for voters than they already are.
Democrat nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro is proposing a hike on property tax and the creation of a rent rebate program. During a time where we are seeing the highest inflation rates in 40 years and a skyrocketing cost of living, now is not the time to entertain the idea of an increase, or in Shapiro’s case, an expansion of taxes. Furthermore, a rebate program can be viewed as a glorified check back to the consumer, and the last thing needed at this time is the government injecting more money back into the economy when there are already severe supply chain issues and inflation is at record highs.
In the end, of all Gubernatorial candidates examined it was found that Republican candidates are proposing a staggering total of 35 different tax cuts and 0 tax hikes. Democrat candidates on the other hand, are only proposing a mere total of 5 tax cuts and 5 tax hikes.
Democrat candidate Les Gara wants to end tax credits for oil companies to create more revenue for the state.
Republican candidate Matt Salmon wants to eliminate the state’s income tax, which currently has rates at 2.59%, 3.34%, 4.17%, and 4.5%.
Democrat candidate Katie Hobbs wants to exempt diapers, baby formula, over-the-counter medicines, and feminine hygiene products from sales tax. She also wants to establish a $250 state-level child tax credit.
Republican nominee Brian Dahle wants to repeal the states gas tax, which currently sits at 51 cents per gallon and is set to increase by 3 cents on July 1st.
Republican nominee Heidi Ganahl wants to eliminate the state income tax and cut the gas tax in half.
Republican candidate Greg Lopez, who was defeated in the primary, wanted to suspend the states sales tax of 2.9% for the next 4 years.
Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski wants to reduce the states income tax rate from 6.35% to 5.99%, temporarily suspend wholesale tax on gasoline, and eliminate the highway use tax for heavy trucks.
Democrat candidate Nikki Fried wants to double the homestead exemption from $50,000 to $100,000 for owner-occupied homes and offer additional property tax exemption for those who only own one home.
Democrat nominee Stacey Abrams wants to create a refundable income tax credit, expand tax credits for childcare workers, and provide fully funded Pre-K using taxpayer dollars.
Democrat nominee Stephen Heidt wants to cut property taxes for homeowners.
Republican nominee Darren Bailey wants to eliminate the gas tax, lower the state income tax, and lower property taxes.
Republican candidate, who was defeated in the primary, Richard Irvin wanted to lower all property taxes.
Republican candidate Derek Schmidt wants to eliminate state income tax on retirement funds such as social security, public and private pensions, defined benefit retirement and contribution retirement plans, retirement annuities, and individual retirement accounts.
Democrat candidate Tom Perez wants to implement a more progressive tax system.
Republican candidate Chris Doughty wants to implement a gas tax holiday and form a tax reduction commission to investigate ways to cut taxes in the state.
Democrat candidate Maura Healey wants to increase child tax credits by doubling the value of the existing credit and remove the dependent cap which currently sits at 2 dependents.
Republican candidate Ryan Kelley wants to extend and increase personal tax exemption deductions, reduce taxes on small businesses, and eliminate the state’s 4.25% income tax rate.
Republican candidate Scott Jensen wants to suspend the state’s 28.5 cents per gallon gas tax, eliminate the personal income tax, and eliminate the income tax on social security benefits.
Republican nominee Lee Zeldin plans on cutting taxes by reversing the state’s ban on safe extraction of natural gas, constructing new pipelines, and by suspending the gas tax.
Republican candidate Rob Astorino, who was defeated in the primary, wanted to create a flatter and fairer income tax by reducing the current 10 tax brackets to 3 brackets with lower rates and reduce property taxes by allowing counties to opt out of certain non-mandate Medicaid services.
Republican nominee Doug Mastriano wants to eliminate property taxes, reduce the gas tax, and reduce corporate net income tax rate.
Democrat nominee Josh Shapiro wants to eliminate the 11% cell phone tax, expand property tax and rent rebate programs, and provide a gas tax refund.
Democrat nominee Beto O’Rourke wants to increase taxes on corporations and lower property taxes for families and small businesses.
Republican candidate Rebecca Kleefisch wants to eliminate personal property tax on small businesses and reduce property taxes for homeowners.
Republican candidate Kevin Nicholson wants to reduce property and state income tax.