In response to Andrew Cuomo’s promise not to raise taxes as governor of New York, Americans for Tax Reform sent Cuomo a letter this morning urging him to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In the letter, ATR President Grover Norquist asked the candidate to put his no-tax pledge in writing:
In announcing the kickoff of your campaign for governor over the weekend, you laid out a policy platform that seeks to reverse the tax-and-spend tide that has sunk New York’s economy. You explicitly promise not to raise taxes should you be elected governor. I commend you rejecting the David Paterson model of higher taxes, and ask you to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a promise in writing to constituents to oppose and veto any tax increases.
In your announcement, you said, “Raising taxes is not an option – period. Sometimes the answer is just ‘no.’” This is the correct position. New York has the nation’s highest combined state and local tax burden. A high-earner in Manhattan pays over half his or her income to the government.
Yet the incumbent governor has repeatedly pushed for bigger government and higher taxes. Government spending increased 8 percent last year in the midst of a crippling recession, financed by $6 billion in tax increases and bailout dollars from Washington. This strategy is driving New Yorkers out of the state: Between 1999 and 2008, New York saw an outflow of over 1.7 million people, more than any other state.