Oklahoma’s governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate president pro tempore all agree that tax increases are not an option for fixing Oklahoma’s budget problems. National and state taxpayer advocates, such as Oklahomans for Responsible Government and the Oklahoma Council of Public affairs urged state legislators to back up their promise by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform.
The Pledge, made to the taxpayers of the legislator’s district and to all the people of Oklahoma, says “I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
In a recent press release, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform said, “By signing the Pledge, legislators make clear that they will stand up for taxpayers, not tax users. Especially in a recession, higher taxes should be a non-starter for all Oklahoma legislators. I strongly encourage, and challenge, each of them to sign the Pledge before the legislature opens in February.”
So far, the Oklahoma leadership has looked at targeted budget cuts, but most notable is that “tax increases are not part of the discussions.” It would be commendable if these Oklahoman leaders stand up for their constituency, opposing any tax increase by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
To date, six Oklahoman State Senators and twenty three House members have signed. And while Senate president pro tempore Glen Coffee has formally pledged to fight tax increases and out of control government spending, Governor Brad Henry and Speaker of the House Chris Benge have yet to sign. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge, as well as a list of signers, is available here.
See ATR’s press release urging Oklahoma legislators and Governor to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge here