The Tribe Has Spoken: The Results of Tax-Related Ballot Measures

On November 8th, millions of Americans voted on measures to decide where our tax dollars are going, and what’s getting taxed. In 35 states, there were 154 statewide ballot measures! Unfortunately, we can’t go through every result, but a few made a particular impact:

4 Out of 5 states Said Yes to Marijuana

California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, while Arizona opted out. The 4 states that said yes will allow anyone over 21 to smoke marijuana legally, and will be taxed from 3.5-15%, depending on the state. Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota allowed doctor’s to prescribe it for medical purposes, while Montana eased restrictions.

Hiking Up the Tax on Cola and Cigarettes – But Not Carbon

In California, the cigarette tax was increased by $2 per pack under Measure 56, which is expected to bring in over $1 billion. Other tobacco products and e-cigarettes will see a commensurate increase, and the e-cigarette industry will also have to pay tobacco taxes.

Three cities in California (San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany), as well as Boulder, CO voted yes on raising the taxes on sugar-laden drinks, targeting soda. These cities join Berkeley and Philadelphia, both of which passed measures previously.

Washington could have been the first state to impose a tax on carbon in the fight against climate change, but opponents feared it would actually mean a loss in revenue for the state.

High-Income Earners, More Tax For You, While Minimum Wage Gets a Boost

Maine and California decided to tax the wealthy a bit more, to include individuals and corporations. Maine’s passed by just 100 votes! Oregon rejected their version, which would have only affected corporations.

Maine, Colorado, Arizona and Washington said yes to a minimum wage increase to $12 (except Washington, which will go to $13.50) by 2020.

A Measure Against Service Tax

Missouri voted on a measure that restricts the state from taxing services such as haircuts, home repairs, and more, which ultimately amends their state constitution. The overwhelming majority voted yes, limiting taxes on the sale of goods only.

As many states solidified changes to their taxes on November 8th, federal taxes will certainly be affected under President-Elect Donald Trump. Stay tuned for how tax season 2017 and 2018 may hurt or help your finances.

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