Andrew Yang on Tax Reform

Democratic Presidential Challenger & Tech CEO


Push NYS for a Vacancy Tax on empty storefronts

There are too many open storefronts in NYC. A Yang administration would advocate New York State for a vacancy tax, determining an amount of time for which a storefront can be vacant, after which the landlord must pay a tax to the state as a penalty. This will create an incentive for them not to leave retail spaces empty in the hopes of waiting for a tenant who will pay higher rent. The money could also go towards minority- and women-owned enterprise development.
Source: Mayoral campaign website YangForNY.com , Mar 25, 2021

End Social Security cap, favorable capital gains treatment

Yang's second set of taxes would be far more progressive. His administration would kill the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax, implement a financial transaction tax, and end the favorable tax treatment of capital gains. This year's most discussed proposal for taxing the rich--an annual wealth tax--leaves Yang skeptical. In practice, he told CNBC's Harwood, a wealth tax would have "massive" implementation and compliance problems.
Source: The Nation magazine on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 19, 2019

Wealth tax didn't work where it was tried

A wealth tax makes a lot of sense in principle. The problem is that it's been tried in Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, and all of those countries ended up repealing it because it had massive implementation problems and did not generate the revenue that they'd projected. If we can't learn from the failed experiences of other countries, what can we learn from? We should not be looking to other countries' mistakes. Instead, we should look at what [they] still have, which is a value-add
Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Value-added tax would generate $800B taxes & $700B GDP

Q: Your signature policy is to give every adult $1,000 a month, no questions asked. That's like $3.2 trillion a year. How would you pay for that?

YANG: You have trillion-dollar companies like Amazon paying literally zero in taxes. If we had a value-added tax at even half the European level, it would generate over $800 billion in new revenue--it would be the trickle-up economy. We would spend the money and it would circulate through our regional economies, creating millions of jobs. We'd save money on things like incarceration & homelessness services. Just the value gains from having a stronger, healthier, mentally healthier population would increase GDP by $700 billion.

Q: You are saying $1,000 a month for everyone over 18, but a VAT so you can spend that $1,000 on VAT?

YANG: You still would be increasing the buying power of the bottom 94% of Americans. You have to spend a lot of money for a mild value-added tax to eat up $12,000.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Fund programs from tech companies now paying no tax

Q: How do you pay for your programs?

A: Who are going to be the biggest winners from new technologies of self-driving cars and trucks? It's going to be the biggest tech companies in our country. How much did Amazon pay in federal taxes last year?


A: So when people ask how are we going to fund this, we have to go where the money is. We have to implement a new mechanism to get that money back from Amazon and bring it back to the American people to build a trickle-up economy.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2019

Value Added Tax would generate $800 billion

Who are going to be the biggest winners from A.I. and new technologies? It's going to be Amazon, Google, Facebook and we all can see that Amazon paid $0 in federal taxes last year.

What we have to do is we have to join every other advanced The people at the top end of the income scale consume a lot more, and you can actually make the VAT so it falls more heavily on luxury goods as opposed to consumer staples. So, the way for us to get this money is really to go to where the money is, and where the money is is in the hands of the Amazons and the Googles and Facebooks of the world.

Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , Apr 7, 2019

Institute 10% VAT, like 160 other countries

The best way to ensure public gains from the automation wave would be a VAT so that people and companies just pay the tax when they buy things or employ services. For businesses, it gets baked into the cost of production at every level. It makes it much harder for large companies, which are experts at reducing their taxes, to benefit from the American infrastructure & citizenry without paying into it. The biggest companies would pay the most into the system because a VAT gets paid based on volume, not profits.

Out of 193 countries, 160 already have VAT or goods and services tax, including all developed countries except the United States. The average VAT in Europe is 20 percent. It is well developed and its efficiency has been established. If we adopted a VAT at half the average European level, we could pay for a universal basic income for all American adults.

A VAT would result in slightly higher prices. But technological advancement would continue to drive down the cost of most things.

Source: The War on Normal People, by Andrew Yang, p.171 , Apr 2, 2019

Revenue Day: make paying taxes a celebration

Currently, paying taxes is a slog. Instead, let's make it a celebration. Revenue Day--the day taxes are due--should be a federal holiday. That day should feature celebrations. Running the country like a business means adopting basic things like appreciating your constituents. If someone pays taxes, that's great and we should make him or her feel like they contributed to important things that make people's lives better. Revenue Day should be a day of joy and celebration for our national community.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Value-Added Tax as part of new capitalist philosophy

Yang has voiced plans to institute a carbon tax on fossil fuel gasoline. He has also proposed a Value-Added Tax. Yang has mentioned the institution of a new capitalist philosophy which he says will be geared towards "maximizing human well-being and fulfillment." However, he hasn't provided any details as to how this would be legally integrated into the market.
Source: Townhall.com: 2020 Democratic primary "Candidate profiles" , Feb 6, 2019

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Other big-city mayors on Tax Reform: Andrew Yang 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 07, 2022