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Press Release


Taxpayers Finish 2011 Election Season with High Batting Average, Defeat Many Efforts to Tax & Spend

For Immediate Release November 10, 2011
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

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(Alexandria, VA) – Despite being thrown a barrage of knuckleballs, taxpayers hit a number of homeruns this election season and can claim a larger victory for limiting the ability of government to raise taxes, increase spending, and further burden Americans with debt. That’s the analysis from the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

After 12 states considered thousands of ballot measures over several weeks this fall, the scorecards are finally in. NTU’s 2011 Ballot Guide tracked around 500 initiatives in Ohio alone and a plethora of measures throughout the nation which, taken together, provide a much more complete picture of the intentions of voters than scattered news reports.

“The results clearly show that voters are in no mood to throw the spending spigots wide open or hand over more of their hard-earned dollars,” said NTU State Government Affairs Manager Brent Mead. “An important opportunity for savings was lost as Issue 2 was defeated in Ohio. Yet, even San Francisco voted for savings from government, among a host of positive ballot victories for taxpayers.”

As Mead noted, Ohio’s Issue 2, which would reform collective bargaining for public employees, failed.  Yet those same voters overwhelmingly rejected the individual mandate in so-called “Obamacare” (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) by a 65-35 percent margin. Ohio also saw a majority of local-level measures carrying new taxpayer burdens lose.

The biggest tax hike this year faced Colorado residents a week before most states even voted. Coloradans struck down a combined income and sales tax boost (Proposition 103) by a commanding 2-1 margin, setting the tone for numerous upcoming votes.

Further victory for taxpayers comes from a surprising location, as San Francisco approved Proposition C, which will save the city over $1 billion in public employee pension costs and defeated a 0.5 percent sales tax increase – an important recognition from a liberal bastion that pension costs are unsustainable and new taxes are not acceptable.

Also out west, Washington voted to privatize state liquor stores, which will remove that expense from taxpayers’ backs, and voted to strengthen the budget stabilization fund. Washington failed to bat a thousand though, as I-1125, which would have prohibited transportation revenue from being spent elsewhere in the budget, had a swing and (barely) a miss at 49-50 percent.

“In some circumstances where the purpose and period of time were defined, voters were willing to raise taxes,” Mead concluded. “But the prevailing good news for taxpayers is that more tax hikes, spending provisions, and proposals to increase government power were retired than scored.”

The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. More information on NTU’s work, is available at www.ntu.org.