Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ballot Issues Test Anti-Tax Mood


The nation's fervor against taxing and spending will be tested beginning Tuesday in a series of state and local ballot measures seeking major tax hikes to preserve government services.

The ballot issues are making for odd alliances and potential election surprises. Some places friendly to the anti-tax "Tea Party" movement appear ready to raise taxes while opposition to public employee labor contracts is gaining strength in traditional union strongholds.

On May 18, Arizona will decide the biggest and most important measure: a 1-cent sales tax hike for three years that will lift the state's rate to 6.6% and the rate for Phoenix to 9.3%, one of the nation's highest.

The tax increase has no significant organized opposition and is leading in polls. The pro-tax sentiment comes in a state known for conservative politics, including a tough new crackdown on illegal immigration.

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