Americans for Tax Reform cynical of Castor’s tax-raising record

WASHINGTON – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) , the nation’s leading taxpayer group, announced that it is distressed by Betty Castor’s legislative and political record, reporting that it is dismal and anti-taxpayer. Castor is the Democratic candidate for Sen. Bob Graham’s open Florida seat.

“Castor has been working to raise taxes throughout her career,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR. “Service taxes, sales taxes, you name it, Castor’s been in support of increasing it.”

In 1983, as Florida State Senator, Castor voted to increase educational requirements, hiking taxes to cover an additional $233 million a year in resulting mandates. This tax hike included a unitary tax as well as a foreign source income tax, hurting local business and prompting some to move out of Florida.

In 1992, as Education Commissioner, Castor was faced with the prospect of making difficult budget decisions after the state proposed reduced funding. Her solution was to avoid tough decisions by raising taxes.

“Castor would have had to make a few cuts from her bloated, $11.3 billion a year budget,” said Norquist. “Instead she thought it would be more fitting for taxpayers to foot her bills.”

In 1996, Castor, along with liberal allies, co-founded the Leaders of the Fund for Community Investment. The group’s main aim, according to ATR, was to raise taxes for increased spending. This time Castor was looking to squeeze an extra half-cent from Florida’s taxpayers in the form of a sales tax increase.

Now Castor would roll back President Bush’s tax cuts if she is elected Senator. She claims her tax hikes would only affect upper-bracket earners, but, ATR representatives state that it is a matter of time before such roll backs impinge on middle class taxpayers.

“Castor’s greed is transparent,” continued Norquist. “Whenever liberals promise that tax increases will affect only the rich, you can bet your children and grandchildren will be paying them for the rest of their lives.”