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Cory Booker on Tax Reform

Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)

 


No wealth tax, but raise estate tax

BOOKER: I think we all agree that we need to bring in a lot more revenue in this country. We have a real problem with the tax rates, tax loopholes, tax cheats. I don't agree with the wealth tax, the way that Elizabeth Warren puts it, but I agree that we need to raise the estate tax. We need to tax capital gains as ordinary income. We as Democrats need to fight for a just taxation system. We Democrats also have to talk about how to grow wealth.

WARREN: With that two-cent wealth tax on the top one-tenth of 1% in this country: we can provide universal childcare. We can raise the wages of every pre-schoolteacher. We can make college tuition-free for every kid.

BOOKER: If I am president, we're going to have a fair, just taxation where millionaires pay their fair share, but we're going to have pathways to prosperity for more Americans. We're going to see a change in what we see right now. Small businesses, new startups are going down. We need to give new entrepreneurs access to wealth.

Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta , Nov 20, 2019

Expand Earned Income Tax Credit

Proposed a policy aiming to expand eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit to more working and middle-class families.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 6, 2019

Helped people claim earned-income tax credit

But then he talked about how to flex the earned-income tax credit, and the centers he set up in Newark when he was mayor to help poor people file their returns to claim it. He spoke about paid family leave, and how American law should be at least as good as the policies in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Source: The Atlantic, "Under the Radar," on 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 4, 2019

Promised no taxes; but meant "no on one city tax increase"

BROKEN PROMISE: : The Booker said "no tax increases; voted against mayor's tax increases." on his Mayoral campaign website in 2002 but meant "I opposed THAT tax increase," referring to a proposed tax increase when Booker was on the City Council. But voters very reasonably interpreted it as "no tax increases in the future." We call that a "legalism," pretending that there is a meaningful difference. He broke his no-tax promise as mayor, and went on to adopt more pro-tax rhetoric in the Senate.

ANALYSIS: President George H. W. Bush lost his 1992 re-election in large part due to breaking his "no new taxes" pledge. Booker should have learned the lesson of absolute no-tax pledges; he ignored that lesson for political expediency in 2002.

Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p. 64 , Apr 1, 2017

Raise taxes because quick fix of cuts wasn't enough

Q: Is it time to raise taxes in Newark?

A: Well, look, unfortunately we've had to, but to me, I always say we're a slave to the tyranny of a quick fix. Unfortunately, whether it's at the federal level and what we're all watching right now or the local level, you just can't get out of the problems we have dug ourselves into by one solution or the other. So what do we do in Newark? We cut the size of our government by nearly 20% of our employees. We have made very dramatic cuts into overall government, because that just has to be done. But in addition to that, we have also raised taxes because the problems that we are in could not be gotten out of by one solution. There's no one trick to this. You have to have a comprehensive strategy to attack these issues. Right now what frustrates me, looking at the federal level, is that our politics is not serving the kind of nuanced complicated problems that we have; people are indulging in deeper and deeper partisanship that does not serve progress.

Source: Neal Conan on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation , Jul 21, 2011

One-time building sale, plus tax increase, to balance budget

By making the difficult decisions this year--involving layoffs, reductions in spending across the board, and a tax increase--Newark will be fully able to operate under the 2% property tax cap advocated for by the Mayor and implemented by the State Legislature. In other words, Newark has difficult choices to make today in order to insure its long-term fiscal strength and success.

The balanced budget originally presented by the Mayor was no longer feasible. The City is pursuing another option to avoid a seriously damaging tax increase: a sale/leaseback of certain municipal buildings. This plan is projected to cut the remaining budget gap by 53%, and it will also provide much-needed funds to improve several city buildings. Governments across the country have pursued this option as they face similar struggles. This one-time revenue combined with other measures will significantly temper the required increase; however, some tax increase will still be required.

Source: 2010 Introduced Budget: Mayor's Commentary Press Release , Feb 9, 2010

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Other big-city mayors on Tax Reform: Cory Booker on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Oct 17, 2020