"Disaster" Rationale for not Signing Pledge Doesn\’t Hold Up

WASHINGTON – Candidates have indicated a reluctance to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge on the grounds that a terrorist attack or natural disaster might create a need for additional revenue in the form of state tax increases. The Pledge states that the candidate, if elected, will "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes."

Consider the following:

  • Following the massive Northridge earthquake in 1994, California received $15 billion in federal aid – roughly the same as that received by New York following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when adjusted for inflation.

  • Between 1989 and 1994, California received 55% of all federal disaster aid.

"Whenever terrorists or natural disaster strike, Washington can\’t send federal money for recovery fast enough," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist. "Disasters are the worst time to consider tax increases. Families would need tax relief, not tax increases, in times of distress." Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, and author of a taxpayer protection pledge signed by 90% of U.S. House Republicans, 80% of U.S. Senate Republicans, one-third of Republican governors, and the President of the United States.

California\’s state and local taxes are among the highest in the nation, at 10.6% of income, well above the national average of 9.7%