Former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge this week in her bid to be the Badger State’s next governor. The Pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, commits gubernatorial signers to oppose and veto any and all efforts to enact net tax hikes. 

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office.  Fourteen incumbent governors and over 1,000 state legislators have signed the Pledge. Rebecca Kleefisch joins 15 sitting Wisconsin state legislators and four members of the state’s congressional delegation who have made this important commitment to taxpayers.

Incumbent Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) has made it clear he does not share Kleefisch’s commitment to defending taxpayers. In fact, Governor Evers kicked off this year proposing to raise state taxes as part of his executive budget. Governor Evers’ proposed budget would’ve raised taxes by a billion dollars over the next biennium. The Republican controlled Wisconsin House and Senate not only put a stop to Evers’ billion dollar tax hike this year, they convinced him to swallow a budget that actually cut taxes.

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Rebecca Kleefisch makes it clear she would be a governor whose administration would allow state legislators to resume and build upon he considerable progress that’s been made over the past decade in reducing Wisconsin’s tax burden. Wisconsin’s average state and local tax burden has dropped from 12.2% of income in 1999, the nation’s fifth highest at the time, to 10.3% today, the nation’s 23rd highest. This progress has been made thanks in large part to the tax relief and Act 10-facilitated spending restraint enacted by then-Governor Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Kleefisch, and the Republican-run Wisconsin Legislature during the last decade.

“I want to thank and congratulate Rebecca Kleefisch for taking the Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Were Rebecca Kleefisch to be elected governor, that would allow Republican lawmakers to build upon the progress they made during the Walker years, such as with reforms that reduce the state’s still uncompetitive top income tax rate. But first and foremost, under a Kleefisch administration Wisconsin taxpayers would not have to worry about their state tax burden going up. The same comfort would not be there should Tony Evers get another four years in office. By signing the Pledge, Rebecca Kleefisch has demonstrated that she understands the problems of hard-working Wisconsin taxpayers in a way that Tony Evers does not.” 

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a public, written commitment by elected officials or candidates to the taxpayers of his or her state or district. The Pledge is a commitment to oppose and veto or vote against any net tax increase. All candidates for federal and state office have been offered the Pledge each election cycle since 1986.