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Voters Shun Both Tax Cuts And Hikes On State Ballots

Published: 06 Nov 2008 01:49:21 PST

WASHINGTON -- Bracing for an uncertain economy, voters in several states showed reluctance to either raise or cut taxes, as they rejected key state ballot initiatives on Tuesday.

Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly rejected, 69% to 31%, a proposal to repeal the state's income tax.

Oregon voters said no to a ballot question that would have removed limits on the amount of federal taxes that can be deducted on state income tax returns.

And North Dakota voters turned back a proposal to slash North Dakota individual tax rates and reduce corporate tax rates, by a 5-to-2 margin.

In Colorado, voters rejected a plan to end taxpayer rebates under the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The ballot question also would have exempted education spending from spending caps under that law.

A separate ballot question to increase Colorado sales taxes also failed.

Tax-raising ballot initiatives found success in Minnesota and Montana. The Minnesota question will boost the sales tax from 6.5% to 6.875%, to fund new outdoor and arts programs.

Montana voters agreed to continue a 6-mill property tax, which otherwise would have expired at the end of this year. The levy helps fund the state university system.

-By Martin Vaughan, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9244; martin.vaughan@dowjones.com




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