Less than three weeks before this year’s election, Hawaii’s Supreme Court has knocked off the ballot a measure that would have instituted the first statewide property tax in order to financially shore up its unitary school district.
The state’s teachers’ union had heavily backed the measure, staging a statewide protest earlier this month in order to make the public aware of what it called desperate conditions caused by years of budget cuts.
The ballot question would have allowed the legislature to enact a statewide property tax strictly for the use of public schools. How much money such a measure would have provided schools would have been entirely up to the legislature.
But the state’s Supreme Court on Oct. 19 agreed with several politicians who had argued that the question’s language was too confusing for voters.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 2018 edition of Education Week as Hawaii’s Supreme Court Bounces Property-Tax Measure From Ballot