The Failed Anti-Tax Measures of 2009
Eric Kleefeld and Matthew Yglesias point out something that hasn’t gotten too much attention. There were two-anti tax measures on the ballot yesterday in Maine and in Washington state. In Maine, the measure failed by 20 points, and in Washington it failed by 10 points. The momentum is actually against the anti-tax movement — a similar measure failed by only eight percentage points in 2006. Here was the language of Maine’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights:
Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?
And here’s Washington:
This measure would limit growth in state revenues deposited in funds subject to the state expenditure limit, and limit growth in county and city revenues deposited into the county and city current expense funds. The limit would be adjusted based on annual growth in inflation and population. The limit also would apply to revenues transferred out of these funds. The limit would exclude voter-approved revenue increases. Revenues above the limit would reduce property tax levies. Should this measure be enacted into law?
You could easily argue that there’s a more direct statement about voters’ attitudes toward taxes and spending here than there was in, say, Republican Chris Christie’s four-point victory over a widely loathed Gov. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.).