Ballot measures that would have raised taxes defeated

Washington , D.C. – While conservative Democrats were winning races on tax cut platforms, voters were rejecting higher taxes on the ballot. In California, two major tax increases, one on cigarettes and the other on oil production were defeated and in Missouri, a measure to raise the tax on cigarettes was also defeated.

Taxpayers in California will be holding onto their wallets after Proposition 86, which would have raised the cigarette tax rate to the highest in the nation, was rejected by 52.7 percent. Also, 55.5 percent of voters rejected raising prices at the pump in the form of a $4 billion tax increase on oil production. A clear majority of voters in the Show Me State said no to raising the cigarette tax by 470 percent.

"Special interests in California and Missouri tried to hit the jackpot this year by slipping a few tax hikes on the ballot. Little did the big spenders know that taxpayers would see right through their rhetoric,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The terminated tax hike measures are a clear demonstration that, no matter which party voters send to Washington, they unequivocally oppose higher taxes.”

Taxpayers in Missouri and California are no strangers to tax increases on the ballot. In 2002, Missouri voters rejected another bid to raise taxes on tobacco. Not only did Californians recall Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 after he tripled the car tax, but earlier this year, they overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 82, a tax-the-rich initiative backed by special interest groups.

"Taxpayers have spoken loud and clear in Missouri and California. Their message: don’t raise taxes,” continued Norquist. “Hopefully when state legislators return to capitols this winter, they will listen to what taxpayers across the country are saying and will act in their constituents’ interest by rejecting all tax increases.”