Recent actions by Mecklenburg County commissioner Jim Pendergraph should have voters scratching their heads and asking where, exactly, he stands on taxes.
On March 29, 2012, Pendergraph signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge making a written commitment to the voters in NC-09 to oppose tax hikes. However immediately after signing the Pledge, Pendergraph began to distance himself from his promise.
DavidsonNews.Net reported on April 4, 2012, that Pendergraph supported the creation of a new fire service tax on property in Mecklenburg County. The new tax is set to go into effect on July 1, 2012. While his vote was not a violation of the federal “no-tax increases” Pledge, his decision to support a tax hike on the local level should have voters questioning his dedication to them should he be elected to Congress.
Additionally, The Charlotte Observer reported on April 28, 2012, that while Pendergraph signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, he ultimately would leave the door open to tax hikes:
He did sign a no-tax increases pledge and said he would focus on spending cuts. But he said he would consider taxes if “every other way possible” was tried and failed to reduce the deficit and get the economy going.
Pendergraph’s actions make a mockery of his written commitment to the taxpayers of NC-09. Cook Political Report (need subscription to access) rates the district as “Solid R” with a PVI of R+11. The GOP primary will most likely decide the next representative of the district. It’s important voters know where the candidates stand on the issues. With Pendergraph flip-flopping on taxes, voters are left with more questions than answers.
Would you believe the wedding vows of a person who promised to love you “till death do us part,” but included an escape clause for one reason or another? No. It’s the same with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Candidates and/or elected officials sign the Pledge because they oppose tax hikes as a matter of principle; not as a matter of convenience.