Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Proposed Income Tax Switch Gains Supporters; Sen. Saxby Chambliss Predicts Passage of a National Sales Tax within a Decade

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Proposed Income Tax Switch Gains Supporters; Sen. Saxby Chambliss Predicts Passage of a National Sales Tax within a Decade

Article excerpt

Byline: WALTER C. JONES

About 125 people showed up Tuesday in support of replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax, but Sen. Saxby Chambliss predicts passage will take a decade of such rallies.

"You've got to have it develop from the grass roots," said the Georgia Republican who is the sponsor of S. 25, the Senate version of the FairTax.

Besides switching to a sales tax on everything including services not taxed now, the bill would provide monthly payments called "pre-bates" to the poor so they wouldn't suffer since more of their income goes to buying necessities and therefore would make it harder to avoid the tax.

Several GOP candidates have taken up the cause, like Bill Greene, candidate for Georgia's 10th District congressional seat that's up for a special election to complete the term of the late Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Augusta, another supporter. Also attending was John Cox, a Chicago businessman running for the Republican nomination for president.

Another presidential candidate, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., didn't attend, but he's one of the 57 cosponsors of the House version of the bill, H.R. 25.

The House sponsor, Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, said he's talked with higher-profile candidates for the Republican presidential nomination that he expects will be supportive even if they don't make it a major plank in their campaigns.

Having a top-tier presidential candidate run on the proposal would raise its visibility, Linder said, noting that Steve Forbes' 1996 and 2000 failed candidacies did as much for the single-rate income tax dubbed the "flat tax."

But Linder said the failure of a presidential candidate running on the sales tax wouldn't doom the concept. …

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