WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) is discouraged to report that three Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers who sit on the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Policy Committee may vote to increase taxes on tobacco products.

House Bill 2641 would increase taxes on cigarettes from 48 cents per pack to 86 cents per pack, and taxes on other tobacco products from 35% to 63%.

Three members of the committee hearing H.B. 2641 have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by ATR. Bill Haas (H-48A), Tim Wilkin (H-38A), and Bud Nornes (H-10A) signed the Pledge and thereby promised taxpayers in Minnesota that they will "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."

Grover Norquist, President of ATR, issued the following statement: "I remind these Pledge signers that H.B. 2641 includes tax increase provisions and if they vote for it, they have broken their pledge to the taxpayers of Minnesota and all of the people of that state. Taking the Pledge is an acknowledgement of the principles of limited government and the ability to make legal choices independent of government intervention; Pledge-signers agree that both of these principles contribute to a better vision of society. I encourage Representatives Haas, Wilkin, and Nornes to honor their pledge to Minnesota taxpayers as they consider the tax implications of H.B. 2641."