WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) strongly opposes efforts by Governor Robert Taft of Ohio to fulfill promises he has made to raise taxes this year. Taft\\\’s plan, which he released on January 30, includes raising $3.1 billion in new taxes.

The Taft plan would increase taxes on cigarettes by 45 cents per pack, and double the tax on distilled spirits to resolve Ohio\\\’s $720 million spending shortfall. He is also calling on lawmakers to tax new cars and to expand the sales tax to include services such as dry cleaning.

Grover Norquist, head of ATR, responded to Taft\\\’s proposed plan with the following statement: "I simply want Governor Taft to work with the Legislature, with our Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers, and with groups like ATR to identify spending cuts rather than tax increases to resolve Ohio\\\’s spending problem. While I can\\\’t express surprise that Governor Taft is raising taxes, I will express my genuine disappointment."

The following lawmakers have signed ATR\\\’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising "to oppose and vote against tax increases."

1. Lynn Wachtmann (S-1)
2. Scott R. Nein (S-4)
3. Jeff Jacobson (S-6)
4. Jim Jordan (S-12)
5. Doug White (S-14)
6. Robert A. Gardner (S-18)
7. James Carnes (S-20)
8. Robert F. Spada (S-24)
9. Kevin Coughlin (S-27)
10. Jay Hottinger (S-31)
11. Jon Peterson (H-2)
12. James Peter Trakas (H-17)
13. Tom Brinkman (H-34)
14. Arlene Setzer (H-36)
15. John Husted (H-37)
16. John White (H-38)
17. Jamie Callender (H-62)
18. Ron Young (H-63)
19. David Evans (H-71)


In addition, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has also signed ATR\\\’s Pledge promising "to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes."