Former Governor Jim Gilmore (R-Va.), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Governor Gilmore continues his commitment to the taxpayers of this country,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “Governor Gilmore understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past.”
Gilmore recently outlined The Growth Code, an aggressive pro-growth tax reform plan that includes a single 15 percent tax on all business income, three individual income tax rates of 10, 15, and 25 percent, immediate expensing of business investment, and a territorial tax system that allows American business earnings abroad to be returned to the U.S. without penalty.
Gilmore served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002. He led a successful campaign to phase out the state’s much-loathed car tax, saving Virginia families millions of dollars. As soon as he left office, the legislature froze the phase out before it fully took effect. (The Tax Foundation has a nice summary here.)
Though it is still early in the 2016 nominating process, most of the GOP candidates have already made a written commitment to the American people that they will oppose and veto any tax increase in the event they are elected to the White House. Along with Gilmore, these candidates include Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee.
ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan are also pledge signers.
On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge. The pledge-signing governors include Scott Walker (R-Wis.), John Kasich (R-Ohio), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Nikki Haley (R-S.C.).
In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman finished seventh in Iowa and third in New Hampshire before dropping out of the race.