NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 18, 2004

The Republican Party has all but abandoned its platform of 'less government, low taxes,' at the state level, according to USA Today.

  • In Ohio, the Republican-controlled legislature and governor's office has increased spending by 71 percent over ten years, mainly through sales tax and gasoline tax increases, as well as higher fees on small businesses.
  • In Idaho, Republican governor Dirk Kempthorne requested a 1.5-cent sales tax increase, and was given a 1-cent sales tax increase by the Republican-controlled legislature.
  • In Georgia, the first Republican governor in over 100 years proposed raising taxes in 2003 to reduce the state's budget deficit.Moreover, Virginia's Republican-controlled legislature approved a tax hike of $1.5 billion to spend on education, roads and other needs. The increase was even more than Democratic Governor Mark Warner's proposal of $360 million. Indeed, some Republicans were dismayed over the dissipation of the party's long-standing core values of less government and lower taxes.

However, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform argues that Republicans are still in the business of cutting taxes:

  • On the federal level, 212 Republican House Representatives and 42 Republican Senators have signed a Taxpayer Protection Pledge against any tax increases.
  • Most of the state-level Republicans voting for tax hikes are "older, Nixon Republicans," says Norquist, and their numbers are dwindling.
  • The Republican party fought against tax hikes in California during Governor Gray Davis' tenure, and they have successfully fought against tax increases in Oregon and Alabama.

Source: "Look Who's Raising Taxes: Republican-run States," and Grover Norquist, "Tax Hikers are Relics of Past," USA Today, May 17, 2004.

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