New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a plan Tuesday that he says would “create a flatter, fairer, simpler tax code.”
Christie, a Republican considering a run for president in 2016, offered his proposal during a speech at a university in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“I propose that we need comprehensive tax reform now,” Christie said at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. “And here are my principles: it must lower income tax rates for all Americans. It must improve America’s competitiveness in the world. And, perhaps most of all, it must make doing your taxes easier.”
The tax reform proposal is part of what the governor called “A Five-Point Plan for Four Percent Growth.”
“I believe that the new president should push for comprehensive tax reform with Congress on day one,” Christie said. “The tax reform I propose will not be a Trojan horse for a net tax increase on the American people – it will be a net tax reduction, or in the worst case deficit neutral. It is well overdue for the citizens to get reform that reduces, not increases, taxes.”
Christie proposed reducing the number of individual income tax rates from six brackets to three.
“The top rate should be no higher than the 28 percent set in the last major successful tax reform effort in this country – the Bradley-Gephardt-Reagan law signed in 1986,” Christie said. “And the bottom rate should be single digit.”
While keeping in place deductions for charitable contributions and interest on home mortgages, Christie called for eliminating a number of other deductions and credits to make up for the reductions in tax rates.
“The code should reward and not create disincentives to work,” he said. “I would eliminate or modify enough deductions, credits, and targeted provisions in the code – both on the personal and the corporate side – to ensure that the plan combined with other measures I am proposing is revenue neutral and does not materially increase the deficit.”
Christie added: “We should make it so that for the majority of Americans, it should take 15 minutes to do your taxes — not days, weeks, or months.”
Democrats pounced on Christie’s plan. “This shows again where the Republican Party stands – prioritizing tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations above all else,” said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Holly Shulman.