Gov. Perry Signs Americans for Tax Reform “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”

October 1, 2009

Joins ATR President Grover Norquist in commitment to oppose tax increases in Texas

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today joined Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist to sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” where he committed to opposing any efforts to raise taxes while governor of Texas.

“Left unchecked, governments too often surrender to the temptation to raise taxes as a way to solve every problem,” Gov. Perry said. “Unfortunately, we have a ringside seat to that process as the folks in Washington leave no stone unturned in their search for ways to tax and spend more. Without sensible limits in place, government will continue moving toward that tempting flame of raising taxes. This pledge helps deter that movement, and it is my pleasure to sign it today.”

Gov. Perry has been a longtime champion of efforts to maintain low taxes, which have been a key component to upholding Texas’ strong economy in the midst of the national recession. In an endeavor to bring more fiscal discipline to the legislative process, Gov. Perry this week proposed a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of the Texas legislature before raising taxes on Texans. In his remarks, the governor also pointed to the state’s recent accomplishment of cutting taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses by raising the business franchise tax revenue exemption to $1 million. Earlier this week, he announced a proposal to make that tax cut permanent.

"Governor Perry's dedication to conservative principles and fiscal responsibility has facilitated the Lone Star State's tremendous economic growth during his tenure,” said Norquist. “At a time when lawmakers in Washington are considering Cap & Trade legislation that is estimated to cost families an upwards of $4,000 per year and a health care bill that will levy thousands of dollars in higher taxes on millions of families, Governor Perry's assurance that taxes won’t be raised at the state level under his watch is as important as ever. Americans for Tax Reform applauds Gov. Perry for making this important commitment and encourages all candidates for office to sign the Pledge."

Gov. Perry is the first governor since World War II to sign a budget cutting general revenue spending which he has done twice; when Texas faced a $10 billion shortfall in 2003, he led the charge to balance the budget by cutting discretionary spending instead of raising taxes; in 2006, Gov. Perry signed a $15.5 billion property tax cut for home and business owners, the largest tax cut in state history; he has also championed greater truth-in-budgeting and budget transparency practices by calling to reduce budget diversions, spending tax dollars on the purpose for which they are collected, and post agency spending online so Texans can see how their tax dollars are spent.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge was created by Americans for Tax Reform in 1986 in an effort to hold candidates and incumbents accountable to keeping their campaign promises not to raise taxes. The pledge solemnly binds candidates to opposing any and all tax increases and is considered binding as long as an individual holds the office for which he or she signed the Pledge. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. To date, 34 U.S. Senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge. 33 members of the Texas legislature have taken the Pledge.

To view Gov. Perry’s remarks from the event, visit

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