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    Entries in ballot measures (8)

    Friday
    Sep282018

    The Week in Public Finance: Amid Rising Home Prices, 2 States Take Property Tax Proposals to Voters

    Ballot measures in California and Louisiana seek to protect homeowners from huge property tax spikes.
    BY  SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
    For Sale sign outside of a home.
    (Shutterstock)

     

    SPEED READ:

    • Voters in California and Louisiana face ballot measures that would reduce their property taxes at a time when the median U.S. home price has risen by 40 percent in five years
    • California's Proposition 5 would help seniors, the disabled or people who are homeless as the result of a natural disaster.
    • Louisiana's Amendment 6 would phase in homeowners’ new property taxes over four years.
     

    Home prices have risen, but when voters in two states head to the polls in November, they could at least reduce their property taxes.

    The median home price has risen by 40 percent nationwide in the past five years and is still rapidly rising. The increase is blamed largely on a housing shortage. The problem has been especially acute in California, which -- along with Louisiana -- is considering property tax reductions this fall. 

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Sep072018

    The Week in Public Finance: Do Income Tax Caps Only Benefit the Wealthy?

    North Carolina voters will weigh in on the rare policy in November.
    BY  SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
    The North Carolina Capitol (David Kidd)

    For a summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    A proposed income tax cap in North Carolina survived a court challenge this week, leaving it to the voters to decide whether to lean in to what is a rare policy in state government.

    The November ballot measure would lower the state’s income tax rate cap from 10 percent to 7 percent. That’s still above the state’s current flat income tax rate of just under 5.5 percent. But in the past, the rate has been as high as 8.25 percent for high-income earners.

    Capping income tax rates is unusual. Georgia is the only other state that does so, with a 6 percent cap approved by voters in 2014.

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    Thursday
    Aug302018

    While Feds Loosen Payday Loan Regulations, Colorado Voters Could Clamp Down

    In a year when the federal government is dialing back financial regulations, Colorado could become the 16th state to limit the notoriously high interest rates on payday loans.
    BY  AUGUST 30, 2018
    (Shutterstock)

    For a summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    As the federal government walks back historic regulations on payday lending, Colorado voters this fall will be asked to tighten them -- a sign that strong consumer protections are increasingly being left to the states.

    Short-term loans, often called payday loans because they’re due on the borrower’s next payday, have average interest rates of 129 percent in Colorado. Nationally, rates average between 150 percent and more than 600 percent a year. A ballot proposal, which was certified as Initiative 126 by the secretary of state on Tuesday, would cap those rates at 36 percent. If passed, Colorado would be the 16th state, plus the District of Columbia, to limit payday loan rates.

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    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Bilingual Education Will Make a Comeback in California

    The state, which has more English-language learners than any other, restricted bilingual education in the '90s. Voters are bringing it back.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Nearly two decades after voters made California one of the most restrictive states for bilingual education in public schools, residents on Tuesday reversed that decision.

    In California -- which has the nation's highest rate of students who speak a non-English language at home -- fewer than 5 percent of public schools now offer multilingual programs. But by approving Proposition 58, school districts can now offer regular dual-language programs.

    In 1998, voters approved Prop. 227, a law passed amid anti-immigrant fervor that said students whose first language isn't English can only take one year of intensive English instruction before transitioning to English-only classes. Parents who wanted bilingual classes for their kids beyond that had to sign a waiver each year.

    Prop. 58 essentially repeals the waiver system but keeps intact the part of the law requiring proficiency in English. It cruised to victory Tuesday night by a nearly three-to-one margin.

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    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Voters Give Georgia's Plan to Take Over Failing Schools an "F"

    As other states launch similar plans to improve education, Georgia is back to the drawing board.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Georgians have rejected Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to take over chronically failing schools amid concerns that the proposal was too vague and alienated local officials.

    The ballot measure, which would have led to a new state agency with its own state school superintendent appointed by the governor, failed by a 3-to-2 margin.

    The result was largely expected as polling showed public opinion moving against the idea in recent months.

    Lisa-Marie Haygood, president of the Georgia PTA, celebrated with other opponents of the measure on Tuesday night. Opponents also included teachers, school boards and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

    “We did it,” Young told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We all wanted to stop a bad law from taking effect.”

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