connect, grow & thrive.

The September 26. Referendum & Results

This Sunday, the Swiss will be going to the urns to vote on the following referendums:

People’s initiative “Löhne entlasten, Kapital gerecht besteuern” – “Relieve wages, tax capital fairly”.

This initiative was launched by the Young Socialist Party, it basically states that those who live off their assets should pay more taxes than the lower to middle class who do not have assets. Capital income (e.g. from interest or dividends) would therefore be taxed more heavily. Specifically, capital income above a certain exemption amount would be counted with a factor of 1.5 when calculating the tax, taxing it more than other income (e.g. from work). The additional revenue generated would be redistributed to people with medium or low incomes or for social welfare.

On the one hand people with lower income having to pay less taxes means that they can spend the money in other places; on the other hand this would effect a larger segment of the population than stated. Homeowners, farming families, small time investors, small and medium companies and startups would also be affected. The initiative also does not state as of what amount people would be taxed, leaving many questions unanswered.

The federal council and parliament has asked people to vote against this motion.

Result: People voted against this motion by 64.9%

Referendum: Ehe für alle – Marriage for all.

The “Marriage for All” law opens up marriage to same-sex couples. In addition to marriage, same-sex couples are to be treated equally when it comes to starting a family. Today, two women or two men cannot marry in Switzerland. They only have the option of entering into a registered partnership.

With “marriage for all”, same-sex couples would be able to marry. This would put them on an equal footing with other married couples, both institutionally and legally. This applies, for example, to the simplified naturalization of a foreign spouse. Homosexual couples would also be able to jointly adopt a child. In addition, married women would have access to legally regulated sperm donation.

Those opposing this law are claiming that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman and a child needs parents from both sexes to grow up in a balanced environment.

With the legal equality of homosexual and heterosexual couples, the state and society is aiming to oppose discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The government is asking people to vote yes on this topic.

Result: People voted for this motion by 64.1%

Local referendums:

Ausbau der Kanstrasse K4 durch das Ränngloch – Extension of the Kanstrasse K4 through the Ränngloch

The canton wants to upgrade the winding Ränggloch road at a cost of 53 million francs. The famous hairpin bend linking Kriens and Littau is up for a makeover. It is an important road, for the city, the agglomeration and the canton. This is because it connects the suburban community of Kriens with the Lucerne district of Littau, and a branch also leads in the direction of Malters and the regions of Entlebuch and Hinterland in the west of the canton. On weekdays, around 9500 vehicles use this cantonal road above the Ränggloch gorge, which is the only one that can be used to bypass Lucerne and Kriens to the west. However, it is winding and narrow. And it is essentially still in the same condition in which it was built as a municipal road about 65 years ago.

This is why the canton is asking people to agree to the hefty investment.

Result: The budget was approved

Sanierung Waldschwimmbad Zimmeregg – renovating the outdoor pool Zimmeregg

Situated between Reussbühl and Littau the pool has been a much beloved meeting place for the last 50 years. However the infrstructure is in bad condition and desperatly needs renovating. This is why the cantonal parliament voted unanimously to renovate and modernise the installations for 14.875 million francs. Should this be approved by the people the renovations will take place between October 2022 and May 2024.

Result: The budget was approved

The next referendums will take place in spring of next year.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.