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Alabama Officials in Washington Say the Country Needs Tax Reform

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 18, US Senator Richard Shelby (R) said that he hoped that the new President would undertake tax reform.  US Representative Gary Palmer also issued a statement supporting tax reform.

Sen. Shelby said in a statement, “Tax Day serves as a disappointing reminder that our nation has not enacted tax reform in 30 years, highlighting the need for a willing partner in the White House to work with Republicans on making our tax code simpler. The IRS estimates that the average individual tax return takes 8 hours to complete – further evidence that our tax code is unnecessarily complex, confusing, and inefficient.”

Congressman Gary Palmer said, “Americans will spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing and housing combined? This year’s tax day serves as a reminder that we need a smaller government and a fairer, simpler tax code. The time for tax reform is now.”

Sen. Shelby said, “This Congress, and every Congress since I was elected to the Senate, I introduced legislation to establish a flat tax of 17 percent on all income. The “Simplified, Manageable, and Responsible Tax (SMART) Act” is a straightforward solution that would require taxpayers to only file a simple postcard size return, which would save Americans time and money as well as create broad-based lower tax rates.”

Senator Shelby has been a vocal proponent of a flat tax where everyone pays the same tax rate.  Shelby has introduced a flat tax and a balanced budget amendment every year that he has been in the Senate.

US Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has campaigned on getting rid of the IRS and making the tax return so simple that taxpayers could fill it out on a post card.  Cruz said, “Imagine a 10 percent income tax with every American filling out his or her taxes on a postcard or iPhone app and abolishing the IRS as we know it. We can do it.”

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Critics of the flat tax argue that the rich wouldn’t “pay their share.”  Supporters counter that the wealthy often take advantage of loopholes, special tax credits, and deductions to shelter much of their income now and many would actually pay more under the flat tax than they pay now.

Sen. Shelby has represented Alabama in the Senate since 1978.  Congressman Gary Palmer is concluding his first term in the House representing Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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