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In a letter to Ohio Rep. Dan Dodd (D-91) today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist criticized his vote last year for Gov. Ted Strickland’s $844 million income tax increase. Rep. Dodd’s vote violated the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written promise he made to constituents to oppose and vote against all tax increases.

Currently, 13 incumbent Ohio state legislators have signed the Pledge, along with gubernatorial candidate John Kasich and 52 state legislative candidates. Dodd was the only Ohio elected official to break his Pledge in voting for last year’s income tax increase.

On October 21, 2009, Rep. Dodd voted for Gov. Strickland’s $844 million income tax increase. Rather than “right-sizing” state government to reflect the economic downturn, he stood with legislative Democrats to extract more money out of Ohio’s flailing private sector economy. In a letter to Dodd, Norquist wrote:

“As debate continues over Ohio’s projected $8 billion overspending problem, I urge you to reverse course and publicly oppose and vote against any impending tax increases. That is the promise you made to the constituents of House District 91 when you signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Unfortunately, you chose to break that commitment last year when you voted for Gov. Ted Strickland’s massive income tax increase.

House Bill 318, a retroactive $844 million increase in Ohio’s personal income tax, was signed by Gov. Strickland last December. You cast one of the decisive votes to pass the measure.”

Facing an $8 billion state overspending problem, Norquist urged Rep. Dodd to reject his past embrace of tax increases and commit to bring state spending in line with economic reality.

“Dan Dodd let down the taxpayers of the 91st District with his vote in favor of a massive $844 million tax increase,” said Norquist. “He’s broken a written promise to his constituents not to raise their taxes once already; will he do it again next year?”