Edited by Brittany Clingen
Two additional measures have been certified for statewide ballots in 2014, bringing the total count to 61. In West Virginia, the legislature referred a tax-related amendment to the ballot. If this measure is approved by voters in November, it would exempt properties owned by nonprofit youth organizations that are used for "adventure, educational or recreational activities for young people and others" and that were constructed for no more than $100 million from property taxation. The measure would also permit a nonprofit property to be leased or used to generate revenue and still be exempted from property taxation.
61 measures for 2014
The proposed amendment was, in part, encouraged by the Boy Scouts' Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Dan McCarthy, the reserve’s director, called the amendment a “win-win.” He said, “When the Boy Scouts started talking to the state of West Virginia seriously, part of the commitment was using the site as a venue for the state where large events could be held. We realized this was a facility unlike any other in the state.” He noted that, in West Virginia, the organization could lose their tax-exempt status if they leased their property. He continued, “If someone came to us and asked us, 'We would like to host a concert in your stadium,' we would have to say 'No, we can't do that,' because then the property tax would come to us.” However, not everyone sees the measure as a "win-win." Rep. David Perry (D-32) expressed concerns about the amendment, saying, “We are very excited about the continued development of the Boy Scout adventure camp, which holds great economic and tourism potential for Southern West Virginia. But we were concerned that a tax-exempt entity like the Boy Scouts could profit at the expense of our local businesses.”
A contentious battle is brewing in Maine, following the certification of an initiative seeking to ban certain techniques used in bear hunting, including using bait, dogs and traps. As addressed in a previous report, this measure has the potential to initiate an expensive campaign effort, in part because of the Humane Society of the United States's support of the initiative. The measure's outcome is likely to be watched closely by other states hoping to enact similar laws. David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, one of the measure's opponents, said, "I think it would start a ripple effect and create momentum in other states because the Humane Society of the United States would be emboldened by winning here ... where hunting and wildlife management are so ingrained in our culture."
| 2014 Count
|| 61 measures
|| Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming