http://www.clubforgrowth.org/2007/11/updated_huckabee_white_paper.php Is Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a Pro-Growth, Economic Conservative? Editors Note: Released on January 29, 2007, the Club for Growth's white paper on Mike Huckabee was the first in its presidential white paper series. As the presidential race developed over the past ten months, many readers have expressed comments and questions, and new information about Governor Huckabee's record has come to light. In order to ensure that our presidential white papers continue to be thorough and relevant, we are issuing an updated account of Mike Huckabee's economic record. Taxes The Club for Growth is committed to lower taxes across the board. Lower taxes on work, savings, and investments lead to greater levels of these activities, thus encouraging greater economic growth. Governor Huckabee touts himself as an economic conservative, writing in his biography that he "pushed through the Arkansas Legislature the first major, broad-based tax cuts in state history" and "led efforts to establish a Property Taxpayers' Bill of Rights" early on as governor, but he only offers a small piece of the picture. It is true that Governor Huckabee fought for an $80 million tax cut package in 1997 that was passed by the Arkansas Legislature; cut the state capital gains tax in 1999; and passed the Property Taxpayers' Bill of Rights in the same year, limiting the increase in property taxes to 10% a year for individuals and 5% per taxing unit. However, his record over the rest of his ten-year tenure tells a starkly different story. Immediately upon taking office, Governor Huckabee signed a sales tax hike in 1996 to fund the Games and Fishing Commission and the Department of Parks and Tourism. He supported an internet sales tax in 2001. He publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002. He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline (1999), cigarettes (2003), and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001. He proposed another sales take hike in 2002 to fund education improvements. He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003. In 2004, he allowed a 17% sales tax increase to become law. By the end of his ten-year tenure, Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform, garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies "toward the people at the top end of the economic scale," even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.