Voters Consistently Reject Tax Increases at the Ballot Box

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Posted by John Kartch, Abigail Marone on Friday, March 8th, 2019, 11:49 AM PERMALINK

Consultants often try to convince elected officials that Americans don’t mind tax increases. Such consultants cite questionable opinion polls. But the most accurate polls are elections, and the ballot box results show Americans consistently reject tax increases.

A review by Americans for Tax Reform of the past three election cycles -- 2018, 2016, and 2014 -- shows that voters nationwide have rejected every major tax increase ballot measure:

 

2018

Arizona voters prevent new tax hikes - Proposition 126, which prohibited the state and local governments from enacting new taxes or increasing tax rates on services performed in Arizona, was passed with 64% voting YES.

Washington state carbon tax defeated - For the second time in a row, blue state Washington voters firmly rejected a carbon tax. Initiative 1631 was defeated by a 56.3% - 43.7% margin.

Missouri voters reject gas tax hike - Proposition D, which would have hiked Missouri's gas tax by more than 58%, raising the rate from 17 to 27 cents per gallon, was rejected by more than 54% of Missouri voters.

Utah voters reject gas tax hike - Utah voters sent a clear message to state lawmakers they do not want them to even think about raising the state gas tax. Non-binding Question 1 asked Utah voters if they wanted to advise the legislature to raise the state gas tax. Utah voters rejected the question with more than 65% voting NO.

Colorado voters reject massive personal and corporate income tax hikes -  Amendment 73, which would've imposed personal and corporate income tax hikes, was rejected by voters, with 56% voting NO.

Colorado voters defeat sales tax increase - Proposition 110, which would've raised the state sales tax, was rejected by voters, with 60% voting NO.

Maine voters reject payroll tax hike - Question 1, which would’ve enacted a payroll tax and non-wage income tax to fund a Universal Home Care Program was rejected by voters, with 62% voting NO.

South Dakota voters reject tobacco tax hike - Initiated Measure 25, which would have increased the excise tax on cigarettes, was rejected by voters, with 55% voting NO.

 

2016

Washington state rejects carbon tax - Initiative 732 got rejected by a 58.5% to 41.5% margin. The initiative would have phased in a $25 per metric ton carbon tax over a period of two years. After reaching $25 it would have continued to increase by 3.5% plus the rate of inflation until the tax reached $100.

Colorado rejects payroll and income tax hike – By a 79.9% to 20.3% margin, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 69, a massive tax increase that would have imposed a 10% payroll tax and a 10% tax on all non-payroll income.

Oklahoma rejects 22 percent sales tax hike  - State Question 779 got rejected by a 59.4% to 40.6% margin. State Question 779 would have hiked the sales tax by 22% (from 4.5% to 5.5%).

Oregon rejects business tax increase - By a 59.2% to 40.8% margin, Oregon voters rejected Measure 97 which would have implemented a 2.5% gross receipts tax on all corporate sales exceeding $25 million.

Colorado rejects tobacco tax increase - By a 53.7% to 46.3% margin, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 72, which would have increased the tobacco excise tax by $1.75 per 20-pack. Additionally, all other tobacco products excluding e-cigarettes would have been taxed at 62 percent of the manufacturer's list price.

Missouri rejects 23-cent cigarette tax increase - Missouri voters rejected Proposition A by 55.3% to 44.7% margin, which would have increased the cigarette tax by 23 cents per pack by 2021. Further, all other tobacco products would have been subject to an additional 5% sales tax.

Missouri rejects 60-cent cigarette tax increase  - By a 59.2% to 40.8% margin, Missouri voters rejected Constitutional Amendment 3, which would have raised the cigarette tax by 60 cents per 20-pack in 15 cent increments by 2020. Additionally, an 'equity assessment fee' of 67 cents per pack would have been imposed on manufacturers who did not sign the Tobacco Masters Settlement Agreement (TMSA) of 1998.

North Dakota rejects Tobacco Tax Increase - North Dakota voters rejected Initiated Statutory Measure 4 by 61.7% to 38.3%, which would have increased the state tobacco tax from 44 cents to $2.20 per pack. Also, it would have raised the tax on other tobacco products (including liquid nicotine and electronic vapor products) from 28 percent to 56 percent of the wholesale purchase price.

 

2014

Massachusetts voters eliminate a vote-less backdoor tax hike on taxpayers - Question 1: In deep blue Massachusetts, voters repealed a law that indexed the state gas tax to inflation by 53% – 47% 

Nevada voters defeat a two percent “margin tax” on businesses -  Question 3: In Harry Reid’s home state, voters defeated a proposed two percent "margin tax" on businesses by 80% – 20% . The revenue from the new tax was to be granted to the state’s public school districts.

Tennessee voters enshrined a prohibition on state and local income taxes in the state constitution by a vote of 66% – 34%

Georgia voters passed a state constitution cap on the state income tax - Amendment A: Voters enshrined in the state constitution a cap on the state income tax at the effective rate on January 1, 2015 by a vote of 74% – 26% . Therefore the state legislature is now constitutionally prohibited from increasing the state income tax rate any higher.

Photo Credit: Joe the Goat Farmer

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