Trenton, NJ – 15th District legislative candidates Kim Taylor (R-Lawrence) and Werner Graf (R-Hopewell) today accepted the invitation of Americans for Tax Reform to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. By signing the pledge, both Taylor and Graf commit themselves to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.” Upon signing the pledge, Taylor and Graf issued the following joint statement:
“One of the legislature’s most fundamental responsibilities is to administer the state’s tax revenues through the annual budget process. Since 2002 when the Democrats became the majority in the New Jersey State Assembly, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton) have both voted for over $8.5 billion in additional taxes and fees. Watson Coleman and Gusciora have voted for things such as payroll tax increases at a cost of $400 million, income tax rate increases at a cost of $903 million, and sales tax increases at a cost of $1.2 billion to New Jersey taxpayers. This list of new taxes goes on as do the fee increases which they have supported. In addition, at this time of national economic crisis, the current state budget, for which both Watson Coleman and Gusciora voted, contains seven new taxes with a price tag of over $1 billion and almost $5 billion in ‘one-shot’ revenue gimmicks.
There are alternatives to the current taxation scheme. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge allows signers to take an active role in tax reform by requiring that any new tax be offset by at least an equal cut. Imagine if Watson Coleman and Gusciora had committed to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and instead of raising taxes and fees $8.5 billion had worked to cut taxes and spending by $8.5 billion.
On Independence Day people across this country joined in celebrating the founding of this great nation which put an end to taxation without representation. For residents of the 15th legislative district, for the people of Ewing, Hopewell, Lawrence, Pennington, Princeton, and Trenton, however, it’s becoming clear that when it comes to taxes the incumbents – Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman and Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora – are representing someone’s interests but not the interests of 15th district taxpayers.”
By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Taylor and Graf join 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 34 U.S. Senators, and over 1100 state legislators across the country including 8 members of the New Jersey Senate and 20 members of the New Jersey State Assembly who have made this commitment to the people they are sworn to serve. For more information on the pledge and to access the list of New Jersey legislators who have signed it, visit http://www.atr.org.