Jan 25, 2010
Alan Nunnelee: A Tax Record You Canít Trust
Democrats raised serious questions about state Senator Alan Nunnelee’s ability to keep his word and keep taxes low given his long record of breaking his word and raising taxes. Although Nunnelee has signed the American’s for Tax Reform Pledge against raising taxes, Nunnelee has been criticized by the national Americans for Tax Reform for supporting tax increases and has also voted to increase taxes on gas sales and taxes on hospital beds. A bill Nunnelee sponsored would have increased income taxes by 35% over the last decade. [ATR Press Release, 5/12/09]
“Alan Nunnelee changes positions on taxes as quickly as most people change shirts,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign committee. “He’s fought to raise income taxes and increase taxes on hospital beds for sick people, but as a candidate for Congress he’ll declare his opposition to tax increases and government spending. Mississippi families are struggling with tough economic times right now so the last thing they need is someone they can’t trust to stand up for them in Congress. The political winds might start blowing again and cause Alan Nunnelee to find another tax increase to support and a pledge to break.”
Senator Nunnelee has a decade long history of supporting tax increases despite his pledges to fight against them.
INCOME: Nunnelee sponsored a bill that would have increased income taxes by 35% since 1997. In 1996, Nunnelee sponsored a bill to increase income tax rates and optional standard deductions according to changes in the US inflation rate. [SB 2731, 1996 Mississippi Regular Session]
TOBACCO: Nunnelee voted to increase the state cigarette tax by 50 cents, an increase of 277% and “one of the largest tax increases in the history of Mississippi”. [ATR Press Release, 5/12/09, HB 364]
GAS: In 1997, Nunnelee voted for a bill to allow the State Oil and Gas Board to levy a tax of up to 6 mils per thousand cubic feet of gas sold in Mississippi, from the previous cap of 4 mils per thousand cubic feet. [SB 2473, 1997 Mississippi Regular Session, 4/01/97] In 1997, Nunnelee voted for a bill to allow the State Oil and Gas Board to increase taxes on a barrel of oil produced in Mississippi from 35 mils to 60 mils, which translates into a 71% increase. [SB 2473, 1997 Mississippi Regular Session, 4/01/97; http://www.mscode.com/free/statutes/53/001/0073.htm]
HOSPITALS: In 2009, Nunnelee broke from the rest of the State Senate to support Governor Barbour’s proposal for an immediate $90 million hospital tax increase to pay for Medicaid, instead of a graduated tax increase. [Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 5/18/09]
In 2009, Nunnelee signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s “State Taxpayer Protection” Pledge. By signing the Pledge, Nunnelee swore to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.” In addition to signing the ATR pledge Nunnelee served as the ATR “Taxpayer Protection Caucus Chair” for Mississippi [atr.org, accessed 12/02/09]; however, within months of signing that pledge he had already broken it by again raising taxes - that time on hospital beds used by sick people.