Julian Castro on Tax Reform

Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn); former HUD Secretary


Tax inherited windfalls as ordinary income

Castro's campaign proclaims, "The fundamental economic challenge of our time is to reverse widening inequality and lift up working families." His People First Economic Plan for Working Families attempts to do both, in part by changing how the nation treats the transgenerational shifting of wealth. The current approach taxes the estates the wealthy leave behind. Progressive analysts have suggested taxing the windfalls that wealthy people inherit as ordinary income. Castro takes this approach.
Source: The Nation magazine on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 19, 2019

Senior/disabled property tax freeze favored wealthy

Castro was the first council member to advocate for a ballot measure to permanently freeze San Antonio's property taxes for seniors and disabled, even though the city already exempted the elderly from the first $65,000 of their home's value, and the first $12,500 of a disabled resident's home value. Rather than propose raising these thresholds, Castro favored a blanket freeze. This would chiefly benefit residents in the city's North Side, where property values were higher.

Castro balked at raising property taxes. The 2009 budget cut them by less than 0.2 cents. When one council member suggested raising them in 2010 to avoid service cutbacks, Castro demurred. "I'm very comfortable leaving the property tax rate where it's at," he said. "We have made significant spending cuts over the last couple years and that has served us well during this budget year." By the time he left office, property taxes in the city hadn't gone up for more than twenty years.

Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders , Feb 15, 2019

Raise the top marginal tax rate; negotiate the numbers

Q: What about the GOP tax cuts?

A: I absolutely would look at undoing the tax cuts that benefited the super wealthy and benefited corporations.

Q: Would you raise the top marginal tax rate?

A: I support raising it. We would have to negotiate on where that goes. They did a poll: 45% of Republicans said that they believe the idea of that kind of top marginal tax rate was a good idea. So, I believe that we should increase it. Now, where it goes to, I think that would be a subject of negotiation.

Source: CNN 2019 "State of the Union" on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 27, 2019

Top earners, corporations should pay "fair share"

I can support folks at the top paying for fair share. There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent, even during Reagan's era in the 1980s it was around 50 percent. So do I support, in order to have something like Medicare for all, that we ask folks that are in the top .05 percent or .5 percent or top 1 percent to pay more? And, also, that we get more serious about making sure the corporations pay their fair share, and that we're smart about understanding how instead of folks having to pay sky high premiums to companies that are seeking a profit to deliver health care that we can have a better system, even if that means that we rearrange where those dollars go? Yeah, I support that.
Source: ABC This Week 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary , Jan 6, 2019

Stop taking from middle class & favoring the rich

And now we need to make a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less--or a country where everybody pays their fair share, so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. It's a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and guts Pell grants--or a nation that invests more in education. It's a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship American jobs overseas--or a leader who brings jobs back home.
Source: Speech at 2012 Democratic National Convention , Sep 4, 2012

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Other big-city mayors on Tax Reform: Julian Castro 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: Mar 25, 2021