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WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins today released this statement following her votes against moving to consideration of two competing tax plans in the Senate.

“Congress needs to undertake comprehensive tax reform to make our system fairer, simpler, and more pro-growth. Instead, today we are asked to consider two proposals—neither of which represents my view and neither of which is a serious tax policy. Instead, they are election-year political ploys designed not to move us forward, but only to score political points.

“Our nation’s tax code needs to be overhauled, from top to bottom. The tax plan offered by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Commission – a commission the President himself created – offered a proposal a year and a half ago that should have been the foundation for a serious debate for such an overhaul. I am disappointed that, instead of showing leadership, the President has allowed that proposal to wallow.

“I have said that multimillionaires and billionaires can pay more to help us deal with our dangerous deficit, and I have voted for surtaxes on the very wealthy in the past. In fact, I have even introduced legislation calling for such surtaxes. However, I have also maintained that any such legislation must include a "carve out" to protect small business owners who pay taxes through the individual income tax system. Our nation’s small businesses must not be lumped-in with millionaires and billionaires and exposed to the same type of taxes designed for the very wealthy. That is why a "carve-out" to shield small businesses owners from tax increases is so important. These small business owner-operators are on the front lines of our economy, and of the communities in which they live. The income that shows up on their tax returns is critical to their ability to create jobs, finance investment, and grow their businesses. Left in their hands, this income will lead to more jobs, and will buy the tools that help American workers compete.

“The Democrats’ proposal, which is backed by the Administration, would not only raise taxes on hard-working families, but also allow the “death” tax to rise to a confiscatory top rate of 55 percent on estates, with only $1 million exempted. This would make it virtually impossible for far too many small, family-owned businesses and family farms to be passed on to the next generation.

“The Republican plan concerns me because it would not extend some tax credits for middle and lower income families at a time when far too many families continue to struggle to make ends meet.

“It is my sincere hope that we can come together and finally tackle comprehensive reform that will remove uncertainty, encourage businesses to create jobs, and not penalize small businesses and families.”


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