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Press Release

Study: More than 100 Tax-Related Measures to Appear on State Ballots This Election Day

For Immediate Release October 6, 2008
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

(Alexandria, Va.) -- All eyes may be on the Presidential candidates in the final weeks before Election Day, but a comprehensive guide from the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) shows that further down the ticket, voters will decide on more than 100 fiscal policy-related ballot measures -- including efforts to eliminate or significantly reduce state income taxes, limit property taxes, and impose "good government" reforms.

"From abolishing the state income tax in Massachusetts to putting in place strong majority vote requirements for tax or spending increases in Arizona, voters across the country have a chance to pass numerous pro-taxpayer measures," NTU Director of Government Affairs Kristina Rasmussen said. "Simply put, 2008 has the potential to be a banner year for taxpayers."

NTU identified 106 ballot questions in 34 states that would affect taxpayers. Measures that could lower taxes or control government include:

  • Massachusetts' Question 1, which would repeal the state individual income tax by 2010;
  • North Dakota's Statutory Measure No. 2, which would lower the state corporate income tax by 15 percent and cut the state personal income tax in half;
  • Arizona's Proposition 105, which would require a majority of electors to pass tax- or spending-hike plans; and
  • South Dakota's Initiated Measure 10, which would prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for lobbying and create an online state spending database.

Rasmussen noted that it's not all good news for limited-government advocates. Tax-hike questions will be on many ballots, including sales tax increases in Colorado and Minnesota. Colorado voters also will decide on Amendment 59, which would effectively undo the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the strongest taxpayer protection in the country. Another troubling trend is that Colorado, Ohio, and Wyoming feature measures that would make it more difficult to qualify future initiatives and referenda for the ballot.

"Some ballots contain measures that, if passed, would significantly increase the burden on taxpayers or make it more difficult to contain government growth," Rasmussen concluded. "That's why it's all the more important for voters to understand the issues before them -- especially the potential impact on taxpayers' wallets."

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For the full ballot guide and post-election analysis, visit