He may be an anti-tax champion now, but Rick Perry has supported billions of dollars in tax hikes throughout his political career—among them the biggest increase that ever occurred in Texas history, the Texas Tribune reports. Just weeks ago, the governor signed an online sales tax provision aimed at raising $60 million over five years. Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform slapped the move with a “new tax” label. And Perry voted for more than 12 tax increases during his six-year stint in the Texas House.
While Perry was a representative, sales tax increased from 4.125% to 6.25%; he voted for several increases alongside Democrats, including the largest in state history in 1987, which raised $5 billion. He also supported tax hikes on corporations, motorists, and liquor. As governor, he established a panel for tax reform that cut property taxes but raised cigarette taxes and subjected many more businesses to a franchise tax. Will all this hurt him in 2012? “People are going to pick at it,” says an analyst. “The question is, will his opponents be able to outmaneuver him to create a high level of dissonance between his record and what he says.” (Read more Rick Perry stories.)