Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.
Charlie Neibergall  /  AP
Presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would like to give taxpayers an option when it comes to how they pay their federal taxes.
updated 4/17/2007 1:53:07 PM ET 2007-04-17T17:53:07

Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback, looking ahead to Tuesday's tax return deadline, on Monday suggested a flat tax as an option for taxpayers.

"I'm not taking on the current tax code from the standpoint of removing it," the Kansas senator said. "I'm saying create an alternative and let people pick."

Brownback, who spoke with reporters after meeting with customers at bookstore in Des Moines, Iowa, said his flat tax plan would not, at least initially, reduce federal revenue.

"Not as part of a system's change I am proposing," he said. "We would design a system that would yield comparable revenues."

Brownback said several details of his plan haven't been set but would be in the coming months. One possibility is to require taxpayers to pick an option and stick with it for some time, likely five years, he said.

Businessman Steve Forbes sought the Republican presidential nomination twice, with the centerpiece of his campaign a flat tax that would have cut deeply into revenues. He failed to get the nomination both times.

Brownback said he was pushing a more modest package as an option to the current system, which he called "unintelligible."

"You can call 50 different auditors with the same question and get 50 different answers," he said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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