Does It Repeat the Mistakes of Past Proposals?

Why should voters adopt "A," when they've rejected so many seemingly similar proposals in the past? This proposal is soundly designed to provide immediate tax reduction, true tax limitation for the future, and a school funding guarantee that protects even school district against reductions in funding. Past proposals have failed because they lacked one or more of these features:

  • The two proposals defeated overwhelmingly in 1989 were both net tax increases. This is a net tax cut.

  • Proposals in 1992 and 1989, although billed as property tax limitation, would have allowed higher property taxes. This proposal follows up on tax reduction with strong tax limitation.

  • The voucher plan proposal in 1976 would have eliminated school property taxes but did not specify how the new educational voucher would be financed. This proposal creates a per-pupil guarantee (although not for private schools) and dedicates sales tax revenue and lottery proceeds to fund it.

  • Proposal C in 1992 would have cut taxes by over a half-billion the first year, growing to $2 billion within a few years. Many school administrators and public employee union officials felt this was too much of a tax cut and did not identify a school funding source. This proposal is a modest tax cut of around $250 million in 1994 and constitutionally allocates funding for schools.

While the proposal avoids the problems that doomed the preceding proposals, it does contain one provision featured in a previous proposal which failed at the ballot box:

  • Both this proposal, and Proposal C of 1992, contained per-parcel caps on assessment growth. These overlap the existing Headlee amendment protections, and introduce nonuniformity in taxation, but also relieve much taxpayer anxiety over the current assessment system.

Although introducing some non-uniformity via an individual parcel assessment cap, the proposal avoids the systematic disparities that marred earlier measures.[30]