Category Archives: Referendum

A Closer Look at Success Rates for U.S. Transportation Tax Ballot Measures

Todd Stone, the Minister of Transportation, has sought to dispel pessimism about the outcome of a referendum on TransLink funding by pointing to success rates for other referenda. As reported in the Vancouver Sun, the Minister noted in an interview last November that “across North America since 2012, there have been (dozens) of initiatives, ballots, or referendums that were asking the voters to approve new spending measures to expand transit. Seventy-three per cent of the time, these referendums were successful.”

During the April 10 committee discussion of Bill 22—the legislation that establishes the framework for funding referenda—the Minister stated that in the last couple of years in the U.S., 79% of funding referenda were won.

But do these success rates really provide a basis for optimism? Continue reading