State and Local Ballot Initiatives to Watch

November 5, 2012

Tax and budget related initiatives I’m watching:

  • Florida (Amendment 4) & Arizona (Prop 116) tangible personal property tax (property taxes on business equipment) reform initiatives
  • Arizona Prop 204 extending 1 percent sales tax increase
  • Arkansas Issue 1 imposing half-cent sales tax to improve state highway system
  • California Prop 30 (Governor’s tax increases), Prop 38 (major tax increases), Prop 39 (ending multistate tax apportionment option)
  • California local initiatives in El Monte (Measures C & H) and Richmond (Measure N) imposing a 1c per oz soda tax
  • California – Los Angeles Measure J extends a temporary 0.5% transportation sales tax currently due to expire in 2039. Will be curious to see how voters deal with a proposal to tax transactions between 2040 and 2069
  • Colorado Amendment 64 – legalizes marijuana and instructs legislature to impose an excise tax on it
  • Florida Amendment 3 – a state spending limitation
  • Maryland Question 7 – table games casino in DC area, reduces tax rates on other slot parlors in state
  • Michigan (Proposal 1) to uphold the state’s emergency manager law, which allows the Governor to appoint administrators for financially insolvent cities to restructure their operations and obligations
  • Michigan (Proposal 5) to require 2/3 supermajority in legislature to raise taxes. Governor opposes it
  • Michigan (Proposal 6) would require voters to approve any new bridge to Canada. Curious how that turns out
  • Missouri (Proposition B) cigarette tax increase
  • Nebraska Marijuana Legalization Amendment – legalizes marijuana and instructs legislature to impose an excise tax on it
  • New Hampshire (ConCon) on whether to hold a constitutional convention
  • New Hampshire (CACR 13) banning an income tax in the state constitution
  • New Jersey (Question 2) requiring state judges to contribute toward their health and pension benefits
  • North Dakota (Measure 1) repealing the state’s poll tax (which was prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s 24th Amendment)
  • Ohio (Issue 1) calling a state constitutional convention
  • Oklahoma (Question 758) capping state property tax increases to 3% per year
  • Oklahoma (Question 766) repealing the state intangibles tax
  • Oregon (Measure 79) banning real estate transfer taxes
  • Oregon (Measure 80) legalizes cultivation and sale of marijuana, state license revenues to go to general fund
  • Oregon (Measure 82) legalizing gambling and requiring 25 percent tax on casino gross revenues
  • Oregon (Measure 84) repealing the estate tax
  • Oregon (Measure 85) repealing the corporate “kicker” tax refund
  • Washington (Initiative 502) legalizes marijuana
  • Washington (Initiative 1185) reaffirming yet again the 2/3 legislative supermajority requirement for new taxes
Some states are voting on initiatives to disapprove of the federal health care individual mandate (AL, FL, MT, WY) and initiatives to disapprove of the Citizens United loosening of restrictions on corporations (CO, MT, and locals in CA, IL, OR, and WI). Montana voters are considering both!

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A tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities.