WASHINGTON, March 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today by the Democratic National Committee: In his latest attempt to smooth talk his way out of his real record, Mitt Romney heads to Palm Beach tonight to address the right wing anti-tax group Club for Growth. Despite the fact that as Massachusetts governor, Romney raised state and local taxes to their highest level in 25 years and imposed an astounding $500 million in new fees on Bay State taxpayers, Romney will use this opportunity to cover his tax raising record by unveiling a shiny new smooth talking tax cut plan. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation; Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05; Boston Globe, 10/24/05; Wall Street Journal, 3/29/07] But Romney has already tried -- and failed -- to smooth talk the voters into ignoring his real record on taxes. Despite signing a "no new tax" pledge he once mocked as "government by gimmickry," and despite bragging about supporting President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy despite opposing them, Romney has failed to gain any ground among Republican primary voters. Romney remains stuck in single digits in just about every poll -- including the latest USAToday/Gallup poll which has him stuck at three percent among Republican voters. Romney now trails two people who aren't even running yet. [GallupNews Service, 3/27/08] Hopefully for Romney, he'll be better prepared tonight than he was for his most recent speech in the Sunshine State. Romney was widely ridiculed after a March 9th speech to the Miami-Dade Republican Party in which he offended local Cuban Americans by punctuating his speech with language that echoed stereotypical portrayals of Cuban immigrants in the movie "Scarface," and quoting Fidel Castro's traditional sign-off line. After the speech, local activists mocked him, calling Romney an "empty suit" and blasting his obvious lack of preparation. [Miami Herald, 3/20/07; Boston Herald, 3/21/07] "Mitt Romney is in for another stormy weekend in the Sunshine State if he thinks he can smooth talk his way out of his tax raising record," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "Romney can say what he wants to the Club for Growth, but he can't change the fact that the people of Massachusetts saw their tax burden skyrocket under his failed leadership." Romney's Real Record on Taxes Romney Signed "No New Tax" Pledge He Once Mocked: -- Old Mitt: Romney Refused to Sign "No New Tax" Pledge, Called It "Government by Gimmickry." When he thought he needed to look more moderate to get elected governor in 2002, Romney's campaign mocked the pledge as "government by gimmickry." [Boston Globe, 1/5/07] -- New Mitt: Signed Pledge to Hide Tax Raising Record. This month, Romney signed the same "no new tax" pledge he refused to sign in 2002 to hide the fact that under his failed leadership, Bay Staters saw their tax burden increase by more than 5 percent, and Romney's cuts to local communities sent Massachusetts property taxes to their highest level in 25 years. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation; Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05] Romney Refused to Endorse Bush Tax Cuts, Before Bragging About Supporting Bush Tax Cuts: -- Old Mitt: Refused to Publicly Endorse Bush Tax Cuts. Romney refused to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush's economic program in 2003. Romney's spokesperson said that it's "just not a state matter." [Boston Globe, 4/11/03] -- New Mitt: Bragged About Support for Bush Tax Cuts. During a November 13, 2006 press conference held in Arizona, Romney outlined differences between himself and McCain. Romney said "he was quicker than McCain to endorse President Bush's tax cuts." [East Valley Sun, 11/14/06] State & Local Tax Burden Increased 5.1 Percent During Romney Administration. According to The Tax Foundation, a conservative tax research organization, in 2002 (the year before Romney came to power), Massachusetts state and local tax burden was 9.8 percent: the 34th highest in the nation. The Tax Foundation reported that in 2006, Massachusetts state and local tax burden had increased to 10.3 percent: the 28th highest in the nation. Thus, during the Romney Administration, Bay Staters saw their taxes burden increase by 5.1 percent in real terms. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation] Romney Signed Measure Allowing Hike in Local Commercial Property Taxes; Property Taxes Rose to Highest Level in 25 Years. On October 24, 2005, the Boston Globe reported that in 2004, Romney, "signed a measure that allowed local officials to raise the commercial property tax rate, which cost business owners $100 million, according to Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state's largest business group." Romney's cuts to local aid forced Massachusetts property taxes to their highest level in 25 years. [Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05; Boston Globe, 10/24/05] Romney Raised $500 Million in Fees, Earns "C" on Cato Institute Fiscal Report Card. "Romney's fiscal policies in Massachusetts have received mixed marks from conservative watchdogs. The tax-averse Cato Institute gave Romney a 'C' on its 2006 fiscal report card, saying the former governor ... failed to hold the line on taxes. 'His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees,' noted Cato Institute budget director Stephen Slivinski." [Boston Herald, 2/8/07] NCSL: "Massachusetts Imposed More Fee Hikes Than any Other State in the Nation." On August 28, 2003, Congress Daily reported, "A survey of states grappling with spending crises has found that Massachusetts imposed more fee hikes than any other state in the nation this year -- at least $500 million, the Boston Globe reported. GOP Gov. Mitt Romney and the Legislature, faced with a multibillion dollar shortfall, made it more expensive to get a marriage license or a divorce, file a court case, buy a house, renew a driver's license, or tap into a host of other state services. The study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that Massachusetts was one of 30 states that enacted fee increases this year." [Congress Daily, 8/28/03] -- FY 04: Romney Doubled Fee on Marriage and Birth Certificates. On January 31, 2003, the Boston Globe reported that in Romney's FY 2004 budget proposal, "birth certificates and marriage licenses, which could recently be had for just $6, will now cost double." [Boston Globe, 1/31/06] Romney also proposed raising "childcare licensing fees by 30 percent and to double fees for birth, death and marriage certificates. The proposals are also soon expected to become law after the Legislature approved them last week." [Worchester Telegram & Gazette, 2/21/03] -- FY 04: Romney Proposed Charging the Blind for ID to Travel Free on Public Transportation. On May 25, 2003, the Boston Globe reported, "The price of being sight- impaired will be going up. They want to start charging blind people a $15 fee for a travel ID that would allow them to continue riding the T for free. The ID currently costs nothing." [Boston Globe, 5/25/03] -- FY 04: Romney Created New Fees on Bay Staters Filing Complaints With the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. On February 28, 2003, the Boston Globe reported, "He vowed not to raise taxes. But Governor Mitt Romney never made any promises about fees. The governor's proposed 2004 budget new fee on individuals who file complaints with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. [Boston Globe, 2/28/03] -- FY 04: Romney Created New Fees on Automobiles. On January 31, 2003 the Boston Globe reported that in Romney's FY 2004 budget, "the governor also imposed a series of fee hikes, establishing a new $3 fee that would be imposed on all car-buyers in Massachusetts, and instituting a $2-per-car parking fee at state parks ... 'I will not tell you that today's actions have no impact, that no one will be inconvenienced, that no one will be forced to sacrifice,' said Eric Kriss, Romney's secretary for administration and finance.'" [Boston Globe, 1/31/06] -- FY 04: Romney Increased Fees on Boats. On February 8, 2003, the Springfield Union News reported, "Romney wants to generate an extra $1 million alone by raising two-year registration fees from $30 to $40 for boats under 16 feet; $60 for boats 16-26 feet; $80 for boats 26-40 feet; and $100 for boats over 40 feet." [Springfield Union News, 2/8/2003] Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
SOURCE Democratic National Committee