Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) creates new caucus, organized by Delegate Herb McMillan (R-Annapolis), for delegates who firmly believe in taxpayers\\\\\\\’ rights and are committed to stopping tax hikes.

WASHINGTON – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), America\\\\\\\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization, announced the formation of the "Taxpayer Protection Caucus" for Maryland\\\\\\\’s House of Delegates. The caucus will be headed by Delegate Herb McMillan, a Republican representing District 30.

"Maryland doesn\\\\\\\’t have a revenue problem; Maryland has a spending problem," Delegate McMillan said. "The Taxpayer Protection Caucus will fight for families and businesses to keep more of their hard earned money."

The creation of the caucus comes as state after state has fallen victim to government overspending, which has threatened taxpayers with potential tax increases. Currently, 44 states around the nation are running potential deficits that threaten taxpayers. Maryland\\\\\\\’s tax rate is the 10th highest in America; its state income tax is the 4th highest per capita and if the sales tax were raised a penny would be the 4th highest in America.

"Protecting taxpayers should be the first priority of any legislator elected to a state legislature," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington. "Delegate McMillan\\\\\\\’s commitment to fiscally responsible government is unsurpassed. He\\\\\\\’s been a tireless and effective advocate for taxpayers since he began his career in public service five years ago," he continued.

To join the caucus, legislators must sign and keep ATR\\\\\\\’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a written promise to their constituents to "oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes." Every state (with the exception of Nebraska) will have both a Senate and House Taxpayer Protection Caucus, consisting of all pledge signers in the legislature. Currently, 25 members of the General Assembly from both parties are Pledge signers.

The Caucus will provide a single voice on tax issues among pro-taxpayer legislators. It is often difficult to be a stand-alone Pledge signer. The caucus will create an entire body of legislators that believe in the same principle: No new taxes. Considering the budget battles all states will face in the upcoming year, taxes will be very high on the radar screen of the media. Journalists will be able to go to the chair or vice-chair of the caucus for comments on tax issues.

"It is tremendously important that pro-taxpayer leaders in statehouses across the nation are on the same page, not only in terms of rhetoric, but policy as well," continued Norquist. "The best thing is that unless they want to be driven into electoral oblivion, legislative tax-hikers will be left knee-deep in a quagmire. What will they call themselves? The Tax-Me-More-To-Fund-Pork caucus?"