State Tax-Related Ballot Initiative Results
November 5, 2008
All results are unofficial and subject to change.
Raising and Repealing Taxes and Non-Tax Taxes
- Arkansas‘s Constitutional Amendment 3, which would establish a state lottery (Arkansas is one of eight states without a lottery), passed 63%-36%.
- California had a number of county and regional sales tax increases and extensions for transportation, each of which required a two-thirds vote to pass: Los Angeles Proposition R (passed, 67%-32%); Marin & Sonoma Counties (SMART) (passed 69%-31%); Santa Clara Measure B (BART) (too close to call, 66.27%-33.73%).
- Colorado‘s Amendment 51, which would increased the state sales tax from 2.9% to 3.1% for developmentally disabled care programs, failed 37%-63%.
- Colorado‘s Amendment 58, which would increase severance taxes on oil and gas companies, failed 41%-59%.
- Maine‘s Question 1 would repeal a new (April 2008) tax on liquor, wine, and soft drinks to funnel more money into the state’s health care program. The repeal passed 63%-37%.
- Maryland‘s Question 2 would authorize the state to provide video lottery terminals (slot machines), with the money funneled into education programs. The measure passed 58%-42%.
- Massachusetts‘s Question 1, which would have reduced the state income tax in 2009 and repealed it completely beginning in 2010, failed 31%-69%.
- Minnesota‘s initiative raising the sales tax by 0.375% to 6.875% for wildlife habitat preservation, water improvements, parks and trails, and arts and culture programs, passed 56%-44%.
- Missouri‘s Proposition A raising the gambling tax, barring new casinos in competition with old ones, and removes a cap on the amount that gamblers can bet, with the money raised used for early childhood programs, passed 56%-43%.
- Montana‘s Referendum 118 extending for ten years a state property tax for higher education, passed 56%-44%.
- New Mexico – Santa Fe voters approved a one-eighth increase in their sales tax (to 8.0625%) for transit projects, 55%-45%.
- North Carolina – Durham County’s meals tax for civic buildings and tourist marketing failed 28%-72%.
- North Dakota‘s Measure 1, which would set up a permanent fund for oil and gas tax revenue, failed 35%-64%.
- North Dakota‘s Measure 2, which would cut the state personal income tax and corporate income tax, failed 30%-70%.
- Virginia had a number of meals taxes on county ballots. It passed in one county (King William, 50%-50%), results are not available in one county (Culpeper), and it failed in the others (Bath, 42%-58%; Fauquier, 30%-69%; Loudoun, 30%-70%; Rockingham, 47%-53%; Smyth, 28%-72%).
Mixed Bag for Taxpayer Protection Initiatives
- Arizona‘s Proposition 105 would require tax- and fee-raising measure to pass with a majority of registered voters, not just a majority of votes cast. The measure failed 34%-66%.
- Arkansas‘s Constitutional Amendment 2, which would shift the state from two-year budgets to annual budgets, passed 69%-30%.
- Colorado‘s Amendment 59, which would effectively repeal TABOR spending limits, failed 45%-55%.
- Nevada‘s Question 3 would require that the legislature conduct a cost/benefit analysis of any proposed exemption from the state property or sales taxes, and include a sunset date for each exemption. It passed 60%-40%.
- Nevada‘s Question 4 would allow the legislature to alter the state sales tax without voter approval, for the purpose of making the state code uniform with the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP). The measure failed 27%-73%.
- New Jersey‘s Public Question 1 would require bonds issued by autonomous government authorities (and not just those issued by the state itself) to be approved by voters. It passed 57%-43%.
- Oregon‘s Measure 56 would eliminate the requirement that a popular vote to increase property taxes must occur either in a November general election or in an election where at least a majority of registered voters vote. It passed 55%-45%.
State Constitution Overhauls Not Popular This Year
- Connecticut‘s Question 1 constitutional convention proposal failed 41%-59%.
- Hawaii‘s Constitutional Convention proposal failed 33%-62%.
- Illinois‘s Constitutional Convention proposal failed 32%-68%.
- Florida‘s Amendment 3 would exclude hurricane improvements and renewable energy devices from property tax reassessments. It passed 60%-40%.
- Florida‘s Amendment 4 would allow the legislature to create a new property tax category for land being held for conservation purposes. It passed 68%-31%.
- Florida‘s Amendment 5 would allow the legislature to create a new property tax category for waterfront areas open to the public. It passed 70%-30%.
- Louisiana‘s Proposed Amendment 5 would allow property owners to transfer the assessment from old property to new property if the old property was expropriated by the federal government and under certain conditions. The vote totals remain too close to call, roughly tied 50%-50%.
- Oklahoma‘s Question No. 735, which would create a property tax exemption for heads of households who were permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained during military service, passed 85%-15%.
- Oregon‘s Measure 59 would allow residents to deduct fully their federal income taxes from their state income taxes. It failed 38%-61%.