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The Silver Lining in this Cloud

With Gov. Tim Kaine (D) leading the celebration in Fairfax County for the party seen by most as favoring higher taxes and bigger government, there is something for Arlington taxpayers to cheer about. According to the National Taxpayers Union's analysis of ballot measures:

"the results from ballot-measure contests show a clear tilt toward limited government. Tax increases failed in all of the states where fiscal policy issues were considered, while proposals to limit taxes scored victories in places as diverse as Texas and Washington.

"Whether they were asked to pay higher cigarette taxes for children's health programs or higher sales taxes for mass transit, the resounding answer from voters this fall was 'no'," said NTU Vice President for Policy & Communications Pete Sepp. "Tax hikes are rarely popular at the polls, but the electorate often went one step further by telling politicians to put government on a stricter tax-diet in years to come."

"NTU's researchers identified 29 measures in seven states that could have an impact on taxpayers (including Louisiana’s October 20 election)." Two examples are:

  • "Washingtonians opted to strengthen the state's requirement of a two-thirds legislative "supermajority" or voter approval of higher taxes, and called for the creation of a constitutional rainy day fund. Texans approved four separate measures affecting property taxes, including a limit on homestead assessments and an exemption for a vehicle used partly for business purposes."
  • "Tobacco tax increases continue to have less appeal than pundits claim. This year's defeat of a proposal to boost cigarette taxes in Oregon marks the third instance in two years that citizens rejected higher tobacco levies (in 2006, such increases failed in California and Missouri but succeeded in Arizona and South Dakota)."

Remind your elected representatives that despite what they may think, taxpayers aren't giving them a blank check -- whether they're on their way to Arlington's Courthouse or the Capitol in Richmond.

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