Americans for Tax Reform confident Burr would fight for taxpayers in the Senate

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Richard Burr was applauded by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation’s leading taxpayer group, for his outstanding Congressional record. ATR is highly confident that Burr would champion taxpayer’s rights and would expand the economy as a U.S. Senator.

Burr, who is running against Democratic candidate Erskine Bowles, received ATR’s accolades this year as a “Hero of the Taxpayer.” He has also signed the group’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge," a written commitment to the taxpayers in a candidate\’s state to oppose any and all tax increases, joining President George W. Bush, 42 U.S. senators, and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in signing the pledge. Bowles, like Presidential candidate John Kerry, refuses to take the Pledge.

“Voters in North Carolina can rest assured Burr won’t vote to raise taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR. “Burr put it on paper that he would stand for taxpayer’s rights; Bowles makes a lot of campaign promises but refuses to put his word in writing.”

Over the past decade, Burr has put 17 years of hard-line business experience to work in Congress, implementing a system of tax relief, boosting the economy and lowering unemployment rates across the nation. A staunch supporter of President Bush’s tax relief package, which eliminated the marriage penalty, the death tax, expanded the child tax credit and created a ten percent income tax bracket, Burr has supported tax relief across the board. He has co-sponsored a plethora of pro-taxpayer legislation, including a bill to exclude family owned businesses from estate taxes, a resolution requiring a three-fifths majority for congress to increase taxes and the Citizen’s Tax Protection Act, which prohibited retroactive tax increases.

Bowles can not hold a candle to Burr when it comes to tax issues. Bowles firmly supported President Clinton’s 1993 tax increase, one of the largest in history, which increased the marriage penalty and raised taxes on both gas and Social Security benefits. He supported a $1.10 tax on cigarettes, and when that failed, he helped push a 15 cent tax on packs of cigarettes. Currently, Bowles neither supports nor rejects the 2001 tax relief package, believing it is “not a good time to do anything about the Bush tax cuts.”

“Bowles is using John Kerry-speak for \’I’m gonna raise your taxes,\’” said Norquist. “I would ask Mr. Bowles when he would like to act on current tax issues and how he plans to proceed.”