WASHINGTON (UPI) — Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson unveiled a federal tax plan calling for a 14.9 percent flat tax on businesses and individuals.

Carson explained his plan in an interview Sunday on Fox News, and in a statement elaborating the plan Monday.

The tax would apply only to income above 150 percent of the federal poverty rate. It would eliminate all deductions and tax loopholes, and those below the poverty line would be taxed at a different, unspecified rate.

“Unlike proposals advanced by other candidates, my tax plan does not compromise with special interests on deductions or waffle on tax shelters and loopholes, nor does it falsely claim to be a flat tax while still deriving the bulk of its revenues through higher business flat taxes that amount to a European-style value-added tax,” the statement said.

In his campaign, Carson has often compared taxpaying to the concept of tithing, or directing 10 percent of income or profit to religious institutions.

Proposals from other GOP candidates are hybrids of the flat tax concept, with some deductions retained, value-added taxes applied and top individual rates lowered.

The announcement came after a shakeup in Carson’s staff last week, in which several top campaign directors resigned. His poll percentages have fallen among Republican candidates in recent weeks.

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