Voters are confused over some of the Constitutional Amendments and a Proposition that are on Tuesday’s ballot. Unfortunately, language of these issues can add to the confusion.
Constitutional Amendment No. 1 is clear — to continue a one-tenth of 1 percent sales/use tax for soil and water conservation and for state parks and historic sites. The tax should be continued.
Constitutional Amendment No. 2 also has merit. It would curb and reform political campaign spending.
Constitutional Amendment No. 3 and Proposition A pertain to an increase in the cigarette tax. The amendment provides that the revenue would go to establish an Early Childhood Health and Education Trust Fund. The proposition states the revenue would be earmarked for transportation infrastructure. A strong argument can be made for the need for early childhood education. Opponents say Big Tobacco is involved financially and its support is to squeeze out its competition, the smaller companies. These two ballot issues require close study. Certainly providing funds for early childhood education is a strong talking point.
Constitutional Amendment No. 4, generally referred to as a move to prohibit sales/use taxes on services, but it would impact entities’ ability to revise their tax structures, and that could have negative impacts on some taxing districts. Part of it is good, part is bad, and the negative outweighs the good.
Constitutional Amendment No. 6, better known as Voter ID, would create a requirement for voters to present ID other than what is required now, and in the majority of voting jurisdictions there is no need for it. Safeguards already are in place. However, in some metro jurisdictions there may be a need. To force the entire state into a Voter ID requirement can’t be justified.