In California, Sacramento voters, who tend to be more conservative than other areas of the state, supported a sales tax hike by a 2-to-1 ratio in addition to two school construction bonds.
"That's a pretty clear choice of the people," City Councilman Darrell Fong said. "They don't want to see a reduction in service, especially when it is to public safety and parks. They know we've made the cuts already."
A solid majority of voters across the state backed the Democratic governor's budget-balancing Proposition 30, which will raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year and boost the state sales tax by a quarter-cent.
Roy Ulrich, who teaches tax policy at the University of California, Berkeley, says such results mark a tipping point long in the making.
"It's really remarkable that people are beginning to raise their own taxes," he said. "The face of the electorate is changing considerably. It's not the end, but it's the beginning of the end of the tax revolt."
Associated Press writers Judy Lin in Sacramento, Phillip Rawls in Montgomery, Ala., and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio, and Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.