Voters Not in Taxing Mood

The elections have come and gone and picking over the results is underway. The short version of what happened is “yes” to ban marijuana and “no” to more taxes.

Locally, the citizens of Fort Collins voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries by a margin of 52% to 48%. That’s a margin of 1,490 votes. Opponents of the ban spent over $100,000, while ban supporters spent under $20,000.

It doesn’t look like dispensary owners and marijuana advocates will sue, but they are talking about petitioning an issue on to the November 2012 ballot to allow dispensaries. Their assumption is that more young people – who tend to be more favorable to their cause than older citizens – will turn out in greater numbers because it will be a presidential election.

They might be right. However, my observation – without the benefit of having looked at the election data, yet – is that the groups fighting the ban spent a lot of money mobilizing their voters and chasing ballots. I’m not convinced that there are a lot more votes to be had.

Tax measures did not fare well in Colorado. Locally the county jail tax failed by a wide margin, 56% no, 44% yes. State Proposition 103, which would have raised money for education with sales and income tax increases, failed nearly 2 to 1: 64% no, 36% yes.

Another issue that I followed was the vote in Denver that would have required businesses to provide sick leave. Placing these kinds of demands on business is absurd and economically damaging. Apparently Denverites felt the same way. It too failed nearly 2 to 1: 64% no, 36% yes.

In my usual online review of the news, I was surprised to see two editorials / columns in the Wall Street Journal on the Colorado elections. Because Colorado is considered a swing state for the 2012 presidential elections all political developments here are being dissected for deeper meaning. Anyway, here they are:

‘A Killing Field for Tax Measures’

Colorado Says Occupy This