November 3, 2020

Results of 2020 State and Local Tax Ballot Measures

LIVE UPDATES

  • 11/11 10:45 AM: Although mail-in ballots continue to be processed, we will follow California news outlets in calling Prop 15, which has been rejected by the voters. We are also calling Colorado Prop 117 as having prevailed.
  • 11/6 10:30 AM: Alaska does not begin counting absentee ballots until November 10th, and California has until 17 days after the election to process late-arriving mail-in ballots. In both cases, the measures we’re tracking — Alaska Ballot Measure 1 and California Proposition 15 — are on track to be defeated, but for now we are sticking to presumptive language and do not anticipate any updates or calls for some time.
  • 11:15 AM: Click here for our analysis of the two major property tax measures on ballots yesterday, in California and Colorado. 
  • 11:00 AM: Click here for our analysis of the three income tax measures decided by voters yesterday, in Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois. Further analysis forthcoming.
  • 10:15 AM: Click here for our analysis of the four marijuana tax measures approved by voters yesterday. Further analyses are forthcoming. Additional updates to some numbers below, but no news.
  • 8:35 AM: With 99% of precincts at least partially reporting (per AP, about 72% of the expected vote), California Prop 15 is trailing 48-52%. This result looks solid, but California’s mail-in voting takes time to process, and many precincts that are partially processed still have votes to count, and ballots postmarked before Election Day can be received through November 20th. I am not calling this for now, but with early voting results processed first, this appears likely to be rejected.
  • 7:00 AM: Updates to many measures. Arizonans approve an income tax increase for high earners, to generate additional education funding. All four states with marijuana legalization and tax measures have approved them, with South Dakota doing so by the narrowest margins (we’re just calling it and Montana now). San Francisco adopted four tax increases, but California voters are still narrowly rejecting Prop 15 with 95 of the vote in. With 50% in, Alaskans are currently rejecting Measure 1, a severance tax increase, 43-57%.
  • 1:20 AM: Added early Alaska results and updated California, where Prop 15 trails narrowly with 60% reporting. I’m not anticipating any further major updates tonight. We will update the results again in the morning (and longer as needed), and follow it up with analysis throughout the day.
  • 12:45 AM: We are now calling Arkansas Issue 1; the temporary sales tax increase has been made permanent. California Prop 15 continues to be a close-run thing with half the vote in. South Dakota looks likely to legalize and tax marijuana, and Utah will likely expand the use of its income tax, but it’s still too close to be sure. Similarly, Arizona Prop 208, raising the income tax, looks likely to succeed, and Montana’s marijuana legalization and taxation measure is performing well. 
  • 12:15 AM: Updated figures from South Dakota, which remains incredibly close, and Arkansas, where the outcome seems fairly set, but just short of our willingness to make a call. San Francisco measures all have early votes in, but no Election Day totals, and this is unlikely to change tonight. California Prop 15 is a virtual tie (49.8 – 50.2%) with 45% in.
  • Midnight: Added new numbers from California, where Prop 15 is narrowly trailing with 36% in, and several San Francisco tax measures are ahead, including a CEO excess compensation surtax.
  • 11:50 PM: In one of the biggest upsets of the night, I’m now prepared to project that the Illinois graduated rate income tax proposal (the “Fair Tax”) has failed. It is down 46-54% with 72% in, and requires at least 60% of votes cast on the measure, or 50% of all votes cast in the election, to prevail.
  • 11:40 PM: With two-thirds of the vote in, the Illinois Fair Tax Amendment is trailing by 8 percentage points. Not calling it yet, but it’s increasingly hard to see a path to the amendment’s passage.
  • 11:25 PM: All votes are now in for St. Louis Prop R, so we’ve called that race. Arkansas Issue 1 is nearing a call with a 10 point margin with 81% in. California Prop 15 has 52% support with 8% in.
  • 11:20 PM: Our first results from Oregon result in call: the cigarette tax increase measure prevails. California votes are starting to come in as well.
  • 11:00 PM: We’re going to start the hour by calling the Colorado income tax cut and Gallagher amendment repeal (both prevail). News outlets will hold off for now, but it’s hard to see how these results change. We’re also calling Arizona’s marijuana legalization and taxation measure (prevails). Polls have closed in California.
  • 10:50 PM: Updates in many states. We’re now calling Louisiana Amendments 5 and 6.
  • 10:25 PM: First results out of Montana (marijuana legalization and tax) and Utah (allowing revenue from the income tax to be used for children and individuals with disabilities)
  • 10:20 PM: With 41% in, the Illinois “Fair Tax” measure is trailing a razor-thin 49-51%. Cook County (Chicago) is two-thirds in, and the measure needs the lesser of 60% of votes cast on the Fair Tax or 50% of all votes. 
  • 10:15 PM: Big updates in Illinois, where the graduated rate income tax amendment still trails with 30% in, and Arizona, where a similar measure is leading with 70% in.
  • 10:00 PM: Polls have closed in Arizona, Montana, and Utah, with Arizona’s marijuana legalization and income tax increases showing very early results. Colorado’s numbers are beginning to look pretty solid, with little change with 74% in.
  • 9:40 PM: With about 40% in, Colorado income tax cuts and Gallagher Amendment repeal are leading and we’re calling the cigarette tax increase (prevailed). Support for Arkansas’ sales tax rate hike extension is holding solid at 54% but that’s still a competitive election (26% in). South Dakota’s marijuana tax increase amendment remains a squeaker (51-49%).
  • 9:25 PM: I’m going to call the New Jersey marijuana tax question (prevailed), but remember, I’m not a professional election watcher! New numbers from Colorado and South Dakota as well, with a really tight contest in South Dakota on marijuana legalization and taxation.
  • 9:15 PM: Big round of updates from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, and South Dakota.
  • 9:10 PM: Early results streaming from Colorado and South Dakota, with early Colorado votes favoring an income tax cut, repeal of the Gallagher Amendment, and a cigarette tax increase.
  • 8:40 PM: With 4% in, the Illinois Graduated Rate Income Tax Amendment is trailing 46-54%, but it’s really early and we don’t know where these votes are coming from (presidential results are based on 8% in). Don’t even begin to draw any conclusions yet. To win, the measure must secure either 60% of the vote on the amendment or 50% of all votes cast — so in practice, a little over 50%. We’re starting to get results out of Arkansas (making the sales tax increase permanent) as well.
  • 8:30 PM: Early results out of New Jersey show support for legalizing and taxing marijuana (69-31% but only 9% of the vote in).
  • 8:00 PM: Polls just closed in four states with significant tax-related measures: Illinois (graduated rate income tax), Missouri (additional St. Louis property tax), and both New Jersey and South Dakota (marijuana legalization and taxation). We’ll be updating with these results as they come in. Also, we’ll go ahead and call the Georgia lockbox question (prevailed).
  • 7:20 PM: Only about 3% of the vote is in, but Georgia’s lockbox amendment already looks like a lock of its own, up 85-15%. Precincts aren’t quite representative (more Democratic than the state as a whole) but that’s unlikely to be relevant.

Scroll down for complete results tracking.

In recent weeks, we have analyzed the most notable 2020 ballot measures, including proposed income tax changes (Arizona Proposition 208, Colorado Proposition 116, Illinois Allow for Graduated Income Tax Amendment), property tax changes (California Proposition 15, Colorado Amendment B) and excise tax changes (Arizona Proposition 207, Colorado Proposition EE, Montana I-190, New Jersey Question 1, South Dakota Amendment A).

We will be tracking the results on these and other tax-related ballot measures as they come in today, with updates both here and on Twitter. Tracking will begin shortly after 7 PM Eastern Time, when we get the first numbers from Georgia, and updates will increase in frequency after 8 PM, when polls close in several other states with measures we are tracking (IL, MO, NJ, and SD). Further states will join the tracker after 8:30 PM (AR), 9 PM (AZ, CO, LA, and NE), and 10 PM (MT, UT). California and Alaska results may be added later, particularly given the typical processing time for California mail-in ballots.

Alaska
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Alaska Ballot Measure 1 would increase the Oil Production Tax on high-producing fields in the North Slope by applying an alternative gross minimum tax or an additional production tax.

43%

57%

50%

Arizona
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Arizona Proposition 207 would legalize recreational marijuana and tax retail sales at 16 percent of retail price. (Analysis)

60%

40%

99%

 

Arizona Proposition 208 would create a new top marginal individual income tax rate of 8 percent on taxable income above $250,000 (single filers) and $500,000 (joint filers). (Analysis)

53%

47%

99%

Arkansas
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Arkansas Issue 1 would make permanent the temporary 0.5 percent sales tax for transportation funding.

55%

45%

95%

California
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 cross circle

California Proposition 15 would undo the protections of California’s Proposition 13 and introduce “split roll” property taxation—commercial properties would be assessed on their market value, while residential properties would continue being assessed on purchase price. (Analysis)

48%

52%

92%

 

San Francisco Proposition RR would create an additional sales tax of 0.125 percent for 30 years to raise revenue for the Caltrain rail service, increasing San Francisco sales taxes from 8.5 percent to 8.625 percent. (Needs 2/3rds vote to pass.)

74%

26%

100%

 

San Francisco Proposition F would make several changes to the city’s Business Tax and Regulations Code. The measure would reduce the annual registration fee for businesses with less than $1 million in gross receipts, increase the fee for businesses with over $1 million, and repeal the payroll expense tax, among other changes.

68%

32%

100%

 

San Francisco Proposition I would raise the real estate transfer tax to 5.5 percent on transactions between $10 million and $25 million, and to 6 percent on transactions over $25 million.

58%

42%

100%

 

San Francisco Proposition L would create an additional tax of 0.1 to 0.6 percent of gross receipts or 0.2 to 2.4 percent of payroll for businesses in which the highest management salary is over 100 times the median salary. (Analysis)

65%

35%

100%

Colorado
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Colorado Amendment B would repeal the Gallagher Amendment, a longstanding but nonneutral provision within the Colorado constitution that limits residential property to 45 percent of the statewide property tax base. Amendment B would also remove property tax assessment rates from the constitution, instead allowing those rates to be set by the legislature (and approved by voters, where applicable). (Analysis)

58%

42%

91%

 

Colorado Proposition 116 would reduce the income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.55 percent on both the individual and corporate sides. The tax cut would be retroactive to January 1, 2020, meaning taxpayers would benefit from the relief starting this year. (Analysis)

58%

42%

91%

 

Colorado Proposition 117 would require new state enterprises—government-owned businesses that gain money by providing goods and services—to receive voter approval if their revenues from fees and related charges would exceed $100 million within their first five years.

53%

47%

91%

 

Colorado Proposition EE would increase the cigarette tax per pack to $1.94 in 2021, $2.24 in 2024, and $2.64 in 2027. Taxes on other tobacco products would increase to 50 percent of wholesale value in 2021, to 56 percent of wholesale value in 2024, and to 62 percent of wholesale value in 2027. It would also create a tax on e-vapor products that is equal to the tobacco tax rate. FDA-certified modified-risk tobacco products would be taxed at half of the statutory tobacco tax rate, effective January 2021. (Analysis)

68%%

32%

91%

Georgia
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Georgia Amendment 1, the Dedicating Tax and Fee Revenue Amendment, would authorize the General Assembly to pass legislation requiring that taxes or fees collected for a stated purpose be used as intended.

81%

19%

99%

Illinois
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 cross circle

Illinois’ Allow for Graduated Income Tax Amendment would remove the constitutional requirement for a flat income tax, allowing the legislature to create a graduated-rate structure. While the constitutional amendment itself does not set new income tax rates, legislation was proactively adopted in 2019 with rates that would take effect on January 1, 2021, if the amendment is ratified by voters. (Analysis)

45%

55%

98%

Louisiana
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Louisiana Amendment 3 would enable the legislature to dedicate up to one-third of the budget stabilization fund to cover costs in the case of a federally-declared disaster.

54%

46%

92%

 cross circle

Louisiana Amendment 5 would give local governments the authority to allow new or expanding manufacturers to submit payments in lieu of property taxes.

38%

62%

92%

 

Louisiana Amendment 6 would raise the threshold to qualify for the special property assessment level for seniors, military, and disabled persons from $50,000 to $100,000 beginning in 2026.

62%

38%

92%

Missouri
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

St. Louis’s Proposition R would levy an additional property tax of $60 per $100,000 of assessed value to fund early childhood services.

56%

44%

100%

Montana
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Montana I-190 would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, taxed at 20 percent of the retail price. (Analysis)

57%

43%

93%

Nebraska
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Nebraska Initiative 431 would place a 20 percent tax on gross annual gambling revenue from licensed racetracks.

69%

31%

97%

New Jersey
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

New Jersey Question 1 would amend the state constitution to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and impose the general sales tax on those transactions. (Analysis)

67%

33%

86%

Oregon
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Oregon Measure 108 would create a tax on vapor products and other nicotine products at 65 percent of the wholesale price and raise the cigarette tax from $1.33 to $3.33 per 20-pack. (Analysis)

68%

32%

78%

 

Portland Measure 26-213 would levy a property tax of $80 per $100,000 for five years starting in 2021 to provide parks and recreation funding.

64%

36%

unk.

South Dakota
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

South Dakota Amendment A would legalize the recreational use of marijuana and impose an excise tax of 15 percent of sales price. (Analysis)

53%

47%

95%

Utah
Result Ballot Measure For Against % In
 

Utah Amendment G would expand the use of income tax revenue to include assisting children and those with disabilities.

54%

46%

94%

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The tax base is the total amount of income, property, assets, consumption, transactions, or other economic activity subject to taxation by a tax authority. A narrow tax base is non-neutral and inefficient. A broad tax base reduces tax administration costs and allows more revenue to be raised at lower rates.

A sales tax is levied on retail sales of goods and services and, ideally, should apply to all final consumption with few exemptions. Many governments exempt goods like groceries; base broadening, such as including groceries, could keep rates lower. A sales tax should exempt business-to-business transactions which, when taxed, cause tax pyramiding.

A property tax is primarily levied on immovable property like land and buildings, as well as on tangible personal property that is movable, like vehicles and equipment. Property taxes are the single largest source of state and local revenue in the U.S. and help fund schools, roads, police, and other services.

An excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local tax collections.