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Politics & Government

Lou Barletta Signs Anti-Tax Pledge In GOP Campaign For Governor Of Pennsylvania

Carolyn Kaster

Lou Barletta, the former congressman seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania, has signed a pledge from a conservative anti-tax Washington-based group that commits him to oppose tax increases.

The pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, commits the signer to the state's taxpayers to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Barletta, of Hazleton in northeastern Pennsylvania, said on Twitter on Friday that he was proud to sign it. As governor, Barletta said, he will lower taxes. Americans for Tax Reform lists 13 sitting governors — all Republicans — who have signed it.

The last Republican governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, also signed the pledge. Corbett, then the state attorney general, did so in February 2010 when he was running in a contested primary against a conservative state lawmaker.

Corbett’s pledge became a defining issue for him and a constant presence in the Legislature’s debates in fiscal and policy matters.

Ultimately, Corbett signed legislation raising taxes on motor fuels and scores of fees on items including birth certificates and hauling permits.

Barletta is running in a crowded field for the GOP nomination next May.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is constitutionally barred from serving a third term. Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, has said he will seek his party's nomination next year, but has yet to formally declare his candidacy.