In her bid to secure the Republican nomination for Nevada's 9th state Senate district, Becky Harris refuses to take higher taxes off the table by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. At a public forum, Nevada voters asked her to explain her position and her answers were telling...
Question: "Economics and taxes are very important to me. Have you signed the No Tax Pledge and if not, why?"
Becky Harris: "That's a great question! I have not signed the No Tax Pledge and I'm not going to sign the No Tax Pledge because I'm interested in looking at comprehensive tax reform."
First off, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge does not require opposition to revenue neutral tax reform; any tax increase must simply be tied to an offsetting tax cut of at least equal size. That information is available publicly here and is sent with a copy of the Pledge to every candidate for state and federal office. FactCheck.org has debunked this myth, summarizing that the pledge "explicitly allows elimination of any specific tax deduction or credit if matched dollar-for-dollar by an overall cut in rates."
But Becky didn't stop there.
Becky Harris: "I think it's a little disingenuous to sign a No New Tax Pledge… signing the Pledge kind of limits maneuverability and ability to look at a variety of different options that might be on the table."
For someone who takes pride in being a small business owner, this is concerning. Clearly Becky knows exactly what her plans are if she wins: raise the overall tax burden on hardworking Nevada taxpayers and small businesses. The only thing disingenuous in this race is Becky Harris's claim that the Pledge gets in the way of tax reform. The reality is that it gets in the way of her plan to grow government and raise taxes.
That's precisely why nearly every US House and Senate Republican has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, including Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, two of the most powerful budget and tax-writing Republicans in Washington. Senator Dean Heller, Representative Mark Amodei, and Representative Joe Heck are also signers of the federal Pledge. The only people who use the "Pledge gets in the way of tax reform" line are people who admittedly want to raise taxes.
The Pledge doesn't get in the way of tax reform at the state level either. The most recent state to pass significant tax reform was North Carolina. The Governor, who is a Pledge signer, signed a historic tax reform package into law last summer, which cut the personal income tax, reduced the corporate income tax, and eliminated a number of credits and deductions along the way. The plan was Pledge-compliant, supported by ATR, and reduced the tax burden on taxpayers and small businesses in The Tar Heel State.
In her bid to fill the seat currently held by Democrat Justin Jones, Harris faces Republican Vick Gill, who has made a personal written commitment to oppose higher taxes by signing the Pledge.
"I applaud Vick Gill for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Gill has made the bold decision to put his anti-tax rhetoric in writing and voters know exactly where he stands on taxes now," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
"The Pledge clearly and unambiguously endorses revenue-neutral tax reform and equally prohibits a net tax increase. To suggest otherwise reveals that your true motives include increasing the overall tax burden on Nevada taxpayers and small businesses. Becky Harris's willingness to raise taxes should concern voters in the 9th District. " continued Norquist.