Vargas strives to make his income tax one of the most punitive


August 22, 2022

Democrat Tony Vargas is working to raise taxes on Nebraskans earning more than $100,000 and to make Nebraska’s income tax rate one of the highest in the nation.

NRC Comment: “As Nebraskans grapple with record inflation during a recession, radical Democrat Tony Vargas wants to implement a massive tax hike on Nebraska families. Nebraskans can’t afford Tony Vargas. – Courtney Parella, NRC spokesperson

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Meet Nebraska Lawmaker Gunning to Make His Income Tax One of the Most Punitive
Washington’s Free Beacon
Joseph Simonson
August 22, 2022

A Nebraska Democrat running to unseat a Republican in a purple district is trying to raise income taxes on anyone earning more than $100,000, backing a plan that would make Nebraska’s income tax rate one of the highest in the country.

Tony Vargas, who is running against incumbent Rep. Don Bacon (R.) for Nebraska’s second congressional district, introduced a bill in 2019 that would give Nebraska the fifth-highest income tax rate in the country, pushing it ahead of blue states like Vermont.

The plan proved unpopular in Nebraska, where the state legislator never put it to a vote after facing strong opposition and where it remains “indefinitely postponed,” according to the Legislative Assembly office. of the state of Nebraska.

This bill also puts Vargas at odds with President Joe Biden, who has pledged never to support legislation that raises taxes on the middle class. Biden defined the middle class as individuals earning less than $400,000 a year. Few, if any, Democrats have called for targeting low-six-figure income earners to fund government programs. Even the party’s most radical lawmakers, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., NY), direct their anger at millionaires or billionaires.

Vargas did not respond to a request for comment.

Vargas faces an uphill battle against Bacon in November. Although Biden won the district in 2020, Bacon beat his challenger by almost 5 points. Despite Vargas’ slim chances, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee included the race in its “Red to Blue” initiative.

Although Vargas designed his legislation as a tax hike for the wealthy, the first rate increase would affect people earning more than $100,000 a year or married couples earning more than $200,000 a year. An additional tax would be imposed on income over $1 million per year.

Vargas said his plan would generate $478 million in new revenue over five years. Critics of his bill said revenue projections for tax hikes rarely materialized and many small businesses filed returns as individuals. These companies, groups such as the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, have said they will leave the state. Nebraska currently has the 16th highest tax rate in the country.

Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris endorsed Vargas in 2020 during his candidacy for the Nebraska State Senate, and the candidate called their endorsement “honorary.” Their endorsement came just days before Vargas was to donate $250 to Biden’s presidential campaign.

But Vargas is now mom to Biden, who has seen his approval rating plummet. Biden won Nebraska’s second district by 7 points in 2020, although a recent poll found Bacon narrowly beating Vargas among likely voters there.

Vargas also took no position on Biden’s legislative agenda. Her campaign website calls for tax cuts and focuses primarily on social issues such as abortion. Neither Biden nor the Democratic Party are mentioned.


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