There are seven major state ballot tax fights that will be decided next Tuesday. Americans for Tax Reform has highlighted each of these ballot measures individually, but below, you can find a brief summary of each of the seven as well as a link to a more in depth description.
Massachusetts – Question 1 “Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing”: An initiated state statute, Question 1 could repeal a law passed this past legislative session indexing the Massachusetts state gas tax to inflation – eliminating a vote-less backdoor tax hike on taxpayers. For more information, click here.
Washington State – Advisory Question 8: A non-binding advisory question, the ballot measure deals with the state’s recently legalized marijuana industry, specifically, the state legislature’s decision to deem the industry non-agricultural – exposing consumers to a higher tax burden than they would have with other agricultural products. All-in-all, consumers will face a $24.9 million tax increase over the next decade. For more information, click here.
Tennessee – Amendment 3 “No State Income Tax Amendment”: Tennessee Amendment 3 is a legislatively referred ballot measure that would prohibit the state government and local governments from instituting a state or local income tax. The passage of Amendment 3 would enshrine Tennessee’s position as a no-income tax state in the state constitution and require a much greater threshold to enact a state income tax. For more information, click here.
Nevada – Question 3 “The Education Initiative”: Despite the innocuous sounding name, Nevada’s Question 3 would implement a new 2% “margin tax” on businesses operating in the state of Nevada. The revenue from the new tax would be granted to the state’s public school districts. The Question was placed on the ballot via indirect initiative, meaning that a public petition was circulated and then sent to the legislature for approval to be placed on the ballot. For more information, click here.
Wisconsin – Question 1 “Creation of a Transportation Fund”: This legislatively referred constitutional amendment would legally dedicate revenues generated by use of the state transportation system, namely the state gas tax, to be used only for funding Wisconsin’s transportation system. Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin’s legislature has raided the state’s transportation fund to the tune of $1.4 billion. For more information, click here.
Illinois – Advisory Question “Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question”: In Illinois, Advisory Questions can be placed on the ballot to gauge public opinion on potential legislation – although the ballot result is non-binding. In this specific case, voters are being asked whether they would support the legislature enacting an additional three percent tax on income greater than $1 million for the purpose of granting school districts additional revenue. This past legislative session, a “Millionaire” Tax bill failed to gain the necessary votes in the Illinois legislature. For more information, click here.
Georgia – Amendment A “To prohibit an increase in the state income tax rate in effect January 1, 2015 (Senate Resolution 415)”: The ballot measure is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment that would cap the state income tax at the effective rate on January 1, 2015. This would mean that the state legislature would be constitutionally prohibited from increasing the state income tax rate any higher. For more information, click here.
Americans for Tax Reform’s President, Grover Norquist, and State Affairs Manager William Upton recently released a podcast discussing these ballot measures below.