The 2022 midterm elections are finally over. Americans went to the polls on November 8 (if they didn't already voted early) to determine who will control Congress, as well as state and local governments across the country. But in addition to voting for specific candidates, most people probably noticed a question or two at the bottom of their ballot – and some of them were about taxes.
These "ballot initiatives" are one of the purest forms of democracy. Citizens vote directly on matters important to them, bypassing the normal (and often ugly) law-making process. This year, voters in 14 states gave a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on a wide variety of proposed tax law changes. Did Arkansas, Maryland, or Missouri legalize and tax recreational marijuana? Did California and Massachusetts voters impose higher taxes on millionaires? Did the sales tax rise in Arizona? Your overall state tax bill could go up or down by hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars each year depending on how voters acted on these issues.
If your state didn't hold a tax referendum this year, you should still pay attention to the results from other states. You may see similar tax measures on your next ballot, since states (especially neighboring ones) often mimic successful tax policies.
The states with statewide, tax-related ballot measures on their 2022 midterm elections ballot are listed alphabetically below. Where available, we also note whether the measure passed or failed (results will be updated periodically as new information becomes available). Take a look and see what happened in your state and across the country!
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Alabama Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment 6 – If approved, cities and towns already allowed to collect a special property tax can use those tax dollars to directly "pay-as-you-go" for construction projects instead of going into debt. [PASSED]
For an overview of Alabama taxes, see the Alabama State Tax Guide.
Arizona Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Proposition 130 – This ballot initiative would amend the Arizona Constitution to (1) consolidate and clarify various provisions on property tax exemptions, and (2) allow the state legislature to set requirements for and limits on exemptions for widow(er)s and persons with disabilities, including disabled veterans. [PASSED]
Proposition 132 – Any ballot initiative, referendum, or proposed constitutional amendment to approve a tax would only become law only if it's approved by a 60% vote (rather than a simple majority vote) if Proposition 132 is passed. [PASSED]
Proposition 310 – The state sales tax would increase by 0.1% (from 5.6% to 5.7%) for 20 years starting in 2023 to provide funding for fire districts. [FAILED]
For an overview of Arizona taxes, see the Arizona State Tax Guide.
Arkansas Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Issue 4 – This ballot initiative asks Arkansas voters to legalize recreational marijuana use for people who are at least 21 years old and impose a 10% sales tax on the sale of recreational marijuana, which would be in addition to the 6.5% state sales tax and any local sales tax that may apply. [FAILED]
For an overview of Arkansas taxes, see the Arkansas State Tax Guide.
California Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Proposition 30 – If approved, Proposition 30 would impose an additional 1.75% tax from 2023 to 2043 on income above $2 million (making the top rate 15.05%), with the additional revenue used to increasing funding for zero-emission vehicle programs and wildfire prevention and response activities. [FAILED]
For an overview of California taxes, see the California State Tax Guide.
Colorado Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment E – This ballot measure would amend the Colorado Constitution to extend the existing property tax exemption for disabled veterans to the surviving spouse of a U.S. armed forces service member who died in the line of duty or veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease. [PASSED]
Proposition FF – To help fund healthy meals for public school students, Proposition FF would raise Colorado income taxes for people who have federal taxable income of $300,000 or more by limiting state itemized or standard deductions to $12,000 for single filers and $16,000 for joint filers. [PASSED]
Proposition GG – Voters will decide if the title and fiscal summary for any Colorado ballot initiative that increases or decreases state income tax rates must include a table showing the average tax change for people in different income categories. [PASSED]
Proposition 121 – If approved, this proposition would reduce Colorado's flat income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4%. [PASSED]
For an overview of Colorado taxes, see the Colorado State Tax Guide.
Florida Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment 1 – This proposed constitutional amendment would permit the Florida legislature to prohibit consideration of any home upgrades to improve resistance to flood damage in calculating the home's assessed value for property tax purposes. [FAILED]
Amendment 3 – If approved, the state legislature could create a new property tax homestead of up to $50,000 for property owned by teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare services professionals, active-duty members of the U.S. military, and Florida National Guard members. [FAILED]
For an overview of Florida taxes, see the Florida State Tax Guide.
Georgia Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment 2 – This proposed constitutional amendment would allow county and municipal governments in Georgia to grant temporary property tax relief for property that's severely damaged or destroyed by a disaster in a nationally declared disaster area. [PASSED]
Referendum A – If approved, a state-wide property tax exemption would be created for timber equipment and timber products held by timber producers. [PASSED]
Referendum B – Voters are asked if an existing property tax exemption for agricultural equipment and certain farm products should be expanded to (1) apply to entities comprised of two or more family-owned farms, and (2) include dairy products and unfertilized poultry eggs as qualified farm products. [PASSED]
For an overview of Georgia taxes, see the Georgia State Tax Guide.
Idaho Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Advisory Ballot – This non-binding question asks voters if they approve or disapprove of the state (1) adopting a flat income tax rate of 5.8%, and (2) using $500 million of the state's budget surplus for state tax rebates. [PASSED]
For an overview of Idaho taxes, see the Idaho State Tax Guide.
Louisiana Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment 2 – This Constitutional amendment would expand property tax exemptions for certain disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. [PASSED]
Amendment 5 – If approved, the Louisiana Constitution would be amended to allow local taxing authorities to levy a lower property tax rate while maintaining their ability to adjust to the current authorized rate. [FAILED]
Amendment 6 – Under this amendment, the assessed value of residential property subject to the homestead exemption in Orleans Parish could not be increased by more than 10% over the previous year's value following reappraisal for property tax purposes. [NOT YET DETERMINED]
Amendment 8 – The final constitutional amendment on the Louisiana ballot would eliminate the requirement for certain disabled homeowners to re-certify their income each year to keep their special assessment level on their home for property tax purposes. [PASSED]
For an overview of Louisiana taxes, see the Louisiana State Tax Guide.
Maryland Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Question 4 – If passed, Maryland would legalize the use of recreational marijuana for people who are at least 21 years old and authorize the state legislature to tax such use in the state (no specific tax rate is mentioned). [PASSED]
For an overview of Maryland taxes, see the Maryland State Tax Guide.
Massachusetts Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Question 1 – The state constitution would be amended to establish an additional 4% tax on income over $1 million to fund public education programs and transportation projects. [PASSED]
For an overview of Massachusetts taxes, see the Massachusetts State Tax Guide.
Missouri Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment 3 – Voters are asked if they want to legalize the use of recreational marijuana for adults age 21 or over and, among other things, impose a 6% tax on the retail sale of marijuana. [PASSED]
For an overview of Missouri taxes, see the Missouri State Tax Guide.
Washington Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Advisory Vote 39 – This ballot questions asks voters if the recent increase of the aircraft fuel tax from 11¢ to 18¢ per gallon should be repealed or maintained. [REPEAL]
Advisory Vote 40 – Voters are asked whether the state should keep or repeal a tax on "transportation network companies" (i.e., ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft) that's used to fund workers compensation for drivers. [REPEAL]
For an overview of Washington taxes, see the Washington State Tax Guide.
West Virginia Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives
Amendment 2 – This amendment to the West Virginia Constitution would exempt certain personal property (e.g., machinery, equipment, inventory, and vehicles) used directly in a business activity from the state's personal property tax. [FAILED]
For an overview of West Virginia taxes, see the West Virginia State Tax Guide.
Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.
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