In his bid to unseat Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, Scottie Mayfield has refused to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. When asked about why he would not be joining other Republicans in signing the Pledge, Mayfield confessed that he intends on raising taxes as part of his vague plan to rewrite the tax code.

The most recent admission should come to no surprise to those who have been closely listening to Mayfield’s statements on taxes and the Pledge. In May, Scottie Mayfield explained that he wants “to be in a position to vote the way that you want me to vote, and I think pledges get in [the] way.”

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Mayfield would be making a written commitment to Tennessee taxpayers to oppose higher taxes. If Mayfield believes in keeping promises, the Pledge would certainly “get in the way” of permitting him to raise taxes. He is correct about that. 

The plot thickened recently as Mayfield told Tennessee This Week’s Gene Patterson that “there’s probably some people that might need to pay more taxes. They may be very wealthy, they may be very poor…I think I need to leave my options open.”

On January 1, 2013, America faces the largest tax increases in US history. The cost of Taxmageddon on Tennessee taxpayers is estimated at over $8 billion in higher taxes. The average taxpayer in Tennessee’s 3rd district will have to fork over an additional $2,513 every April to Uncle Sam. Although Mayfield would not take office until after January 1, the risk of giving him a seat at the negotiating table should leave Tennessee taxpayers scared.

“Given the fact that Scottie Mayfield now admits his vague plan for tax reform includes higher taxes on both the ‘poor’ and ‘wealthy,’ anyone concerned about the weight of their pocketbooks should reconsider support for Mayfield,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “With current tax rates set to automatically rise at the end of the year, candidates who express an openness to higher taxes, like Mayfield, demonstrate that they are unwilling to get serious about Washington’s real problem: rampant government overspending,” continued Norquist.

[PDF of Press Release]