Tax Reform

Taxpayers Speak Out on Election Day 2013

Since there were no federal offices up for election last week and only a handful of statewide races, you may have missed many of the results.

Across the country this election cycle, voters considered raising income and sales taxes, raising the minimum wage, whether or not to add to a state’s current debt level, or to refuse these changes in favor of fiscal responsibility and taxpayer protection. The National Taxpayers Union has put together a great list of the “good, bad, and ugly” of last week’s election.

As NTU reports, some of the most costly tax increases were avoided, while elsewhere sales taxes, minimum wages, and debt increases were approved.  We have already noted that Colorado rejected a $1 billion income tax increase by 30 points. In the town of Telluride, Colorado, taxpayers also rejected a downright silly penny-per-ounce soda tax, which would, as it sounds, tax each soda in the state one penny per once.

Texas voters also approved property tax relief measures. A Florida town required voter approval of future pension benefit increases while a town in Utah wisely restricted power fund revenues to be used only for power department expenses, closing off a revenue stream for unrelated pet projects.

On the other hand, New Jersey increased its minimum wage to $8.25 per hour, making it more difficult for young and low-skilled Americans to find employment.  In Washington, a special minimum wage district was created around the SeaTac airport and set at $15 per hour, which could soon make it the most expensive airport in the country to buy a meal between flights.

Maine voted to increase its debt by nearly $150 million to fund five different ballot initiatives, while New York, already saddled with the highest local debt per capita, will now allow municipalities to disregard their local debt limits for sewage projects.

Click here to read more about the results, or here for a detailed breakdown of what was at stake this year.

In Depth: Tax Reform

Mainstream economists, small business owners and taxpayers across the country understand that growth-oriented reforms mean increased opportunity for all. As demonstrated by the annual Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, sound tax and fiscal policies are critical to economic health, allowing businesses and households to flourish. A…

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