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Voters in several states will decide tax issues on Nov. 7

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Tuesday, Nov. 7, is election day. The hubby and I already voted. But, as expected in an election year that doesn't include national races, we are in the vast minority.

With almost 18 million registered voters, an early count of early voters showed that statewide turnout was only 5.53 percent.

I'm a bit surprised. I thought the property tax cut ballot initiative would have energized more of my neighbors.

Texas property tax cut: The proposition was put on the ballot by the legislature in response to homeowner complaints about Texas' real estate taxes, which are some of the highest in the nation.

The legislative package of $12.7 billion in property tax cuts must be approved by voters before it can take effect.

The proposal would provide $7.1 billion in state funds to school districts, which are the primary beneficiaries of Texas property taxes, so the districts can lower their property tax rates.

The measure also would raise the state's school district homestead exemption — the amount of property value that is not taxed — from $40,000 to $100,000.

More than property taxes: The property tax initiative is not the only tax measure on Texas ballots.

Lone Star Staters are being asked to decide on propositions that would —

  • Exempt from tax the value of equipment and inventory that are held by medical or biomedical product manufacturers;
  • Prohibit the legislature from imposing a tax based on the wealth or net worth of an individual or family; and
  • Allow counties and cities to provide property tax exemptions to child-care facilities.

Other states, other tax measures: Texas is not alone in asking voters to decide next week the fate of tax matters.

Tax votes are on ballots in Colorado and Louisiana.

So are other questions, while not strictly dealing with specific taxes, require voters to decide on how public funds are used.

That's why this weekend's Saturday Shout Out goes to a couple of sites that track ballot measures.

First, there's Ballotpedia's overview of 2023's tax ballot measures. It looks at eight tax initiatives in three states:

  1. Colorado Proposition HH, Property Tax Changes and Revenue Change Measure
  2. Colorado Proposition II, Tobacco and Nicotine Product Tax Revenue Measure
  3. Texas Proposition 2, Property Tax Exemption for Child-Care Facilities Amendment
  4. Texas Proposition 3, Prohibit Taxes on Wealth or Net Worth Amendment
  5. Texas Proposition 4, Property Tax Changes and State Education Funding Amendment
  6. Texas Proposition 10, Tax Exemption on Medical Equipment and Inventory Amendment
  7. Louisiana Amendment 3, Property Tax Exemptions for First Responders Amendment
  8. Louisiana Amendment 4, Prohibit Property Tax Exemptions for Nonprofits Owning Damaged Residential Property Amendment

CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION, Nov. 7, 2023: The Louisiana proposals were not on the Nov. 7 ballot. The damaged property tax exemption denial was approved Oct. 14. Pelican State voters will decide the first responders' tax relief initiative on Nov. 18. Mea culpa. 

At the Ballotpedia site of tax measures by election year, scroll down to 2023 and you'll find links that have details on each of these ballot measures.

More than taxes: The second shout out goes to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which has an overview of the 36 statewide ballot measures this fall in six states.

From there, you can go to NCSL's Ballot Measures Database, which tracks the current questions, tax and more, before voters, as well as the measures that are starting the process to be placed on 2024 ballots across the country.

Finally, two of my fellow tax blogs take a look at next week's tax ballot measures.

Just Taxes, the blog of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), examines some of the state and local taxes that voters are being asked to decide in the next week's election.

TaxVox, the Tax Policy Center's blog, notes that while most of the political world looks ahead to 2024, voters are making important choices on property taxes, wealth taxes, cannabis taxes, and more this November.

Wherever you live, and regardless of whether you're being asked to decide a tax issue, vote on Nov. 7. Your ballot could make a real difference.

Your voice matters vote

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