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Election 2010: A look at tax and budget ballot measures

Daryl Paranada Nov 2, 2010

Some of the biggest ballot initiatives this election cycle center around tax and budget measures. Of the more than 150 initiatives on ballots throughout the U.S., about one-fourth deal with tax, revenue, debt and other money issues.

These measures come on the heels of many states facing huge budget gaps. Some states responded to their budgets woes by raising taxes and cutting funding for programs, but measures in this election could change things around. Voters will head to the polls to decide on initiatives that may limit states’ ability to raise taxes, change the way states fund services or programs, and stop them from incurring more debt.

In Washington, voters will decide on an income tax initiative. The Evergreen State is one of only nine states without an income tax, but if Initiative 1098 passes, the income of people who earn more than $200,000 and couples who make more than $400,000 would be taxed. Among the initiative’s supporters? Bill Gates, Sr.

Meanwhile, over in Massachusetts, one measure would cut the sales tax by more than half. In Colorado, voters will get the opportunity to slash the state’s income tax rate. Voters in the Centennial State will also decide on a measure that would ban the government from borrowing money to fund public works projects.

In California, voters have a chance to limit borrowing, specifically for transportation, redevelopment or local government projects. Other initiatives on that state’s ballot — like Proposition 25, which would change the legislative vote requirement to pass the budget and other budget-related legislation from two-thirds to a simple majority — could help or hurt the Golden State’s $19 billion budget hole.

Learn more about how these measures and others might affect your state by clicking on our map. And follow Marketplace’s coverage as voters take to the polls to decide on these important budget and tax initiatives.

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