NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Voters Trim State Taxes

March 8, 2001

Taxes may have been a sleeper issue to election pundits, but the people who pulled the voting levers were wide awake says National Taxpayers Union President John Berthoud. In one of the most underreported trends of the November 2000 election, voters in nearly a dozen states opted to trim, cap, or reform entirely their own systems of taxing and spending. For example:

  • Massachusetts voters passed a referendum to reduce the state's personal income tax rate to 5 percent by 2003 -- saving a typical family more than $400 per year.
  • Montana and South Carolina adopted sweeping changes in their methods of taxing automobiles that will result in significantly lover levies.
  • Montana and South Dakota voted to repeal and ban inheritance taxes.
  • Oregon voters gave the nod to a constitutional amendment that will automatically require refunds of excess revenues to taxpayers.
  • Arizona voters passed a freeze on property tax assessments for some homeowners while Oklahomans nixed a measure to allow larger counties to raise local property taxes to fund health departments.
  • Louisiana residents rejected a referendum to repeal the current federal income tax deduction they may take against state income taxes, dooming a tax-swap scheme that would have resulted in a net annual tax increase of $200 million.

Source: "Voters Opted to Trim Taxes at Ballot Box," Dollars & Sense, Nov/Dec 2000, National Taxpayers Union, 108 N. Alfred Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314, (703) 683-5700.


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