I get this question every election season. Confusing ballot questions and even more confusing "interpretive statements" have many people asking what the questions even mean let alone how to vote.

For me, I am a solid “NO” vote on every ballot question that I’ve seen since I started voting. What I’ve learned is that most of the time, the questions are vague and the details get left up to the legislature to iron out. Beyond that, most questions result in tax hikes! And the corrupt elites in Trenton use confusing ballot questions to play on your emotions to get a "YES" vote. When you vote "YES," you’re providing cover for the politicians as they continue to raise our taxes. Don’t make it easy for them! Vote "NO". For me, I’m a "NO" on all three.

Over the next week, I will explain each question one by one. Here’s my quick take if you are planning to send in your ballot before next week.

Question 1 is about legalizing marijuana. Although I believe that pot should be decriminalized and home-growing should be legal, like it is in other states including Vermont where many New Jersey residents ski each winter, this question will result in rising taxes. Not only will the sales tax apply, but local governments can add another 2% tax on top of that. This results in higher costs and will do nothing to stop the illegal sale of pot, which has the potential to put your kids in harm's way.

Question 2 is offering a $250 tax rebate to “certain” disabled veterans who did not serve in wartime. It goes further to offer certain veterans a 100% tax exemption. Although it sounds like the right thing to do for veterans who sacrificed for the rest of us, the costs and the vague nature of the word “certain” have me in the no column. Tens of millions in lost revenue will result and the legislature will decide who qualifies. This will undoubtedly lead to additional taxes for those who don’t qualify.

Why not have the same thing for everyone who sacrifices for society? Nurse, firefighter and cops come to mind. ... Bottom line, as good as the intentions, this is not the time to use tax credits and incentives for anything other than to stimulate the economy. The state will benefit and people would see taxes come down if we created more economic opportunity and used tax policy to empower the largest single group of employers in our state, small business.

Question 3 is about keeping the same legislative district map in place through the next two legislative elections. Another unnecessary amendment to the state constitution that will only make one thing certain, the current majority of do-nothing (except raise your taxes and protect their special interest friends) Democratic majority will remain in power. This is a clear attempt to usurp the will of the voters. So again, I’m a solid "NO".

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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