From the Arizona Republican Party.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Statewide Survey Shows Support for Balanced Budget Approach
Results show support for statewide sales tax as part of comprehensive plan
including cuts and use of stimulus funds.
PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party released results from a recent survey today showing strong public support for a temporary 1% statewide sales tax as part of a balanced budget approach.
The statewide survey conducted in partnership with Margaret C. Kenski, Ph.D. of Arizona Opinion and HighGround, Inc. was conducted over March 6 - 12, 2009, interviewing 607 high-efficacy, likely voters. When it came to taxes, here was the comprehensive question that was asked:
“I’d like to ask you how acceptable or unacceptable you find the following measures which would be considered in addition to spending cuts in order to preserve critical education and public health funding while the economy begins to recover. These taxes would be in the form of a constitutionally limited tax that would last for no more than three years and would automatically be eliminated without another public vote.
Let’s assume for the purposes of these questions that the Legislature and the Governor have already cut nearly $1 billion dollars in State spending by 2010, used all of the federal stimulus funds to balance the budget and still have a billion dollar per year budget deficit. All of the funds raised from these taxes would be dedicated towards maintaining 2010 spending levels for K-12 education, universities, community colleges, and health care for the poor. Each of the following measures would raise approximately a billion dollars per year.”
The results showed that 66.6% of the electorate supported a temporary 1% increase in the statewide sales tax to help bridge the gap to economic recovery, with nearly 40% considering it a very acceptable option.
39.7 % Very Acceptable
26.9% Somewhat Acceptable
5.9% Somewhat Unacceptable
18.0% Very Unacceptable
The question gathered widespread support spanning party lines - Republicans found the sales tax 62.5% acceptable, Democrats 71.6% acceptable and Independents 64.6% acceptable.
“We were surprised by the level of support expressed by the electorate. It appears that Arizona voters would support a balanced approach in solving the budget crisis,” said Randy Pullen, Chairman of AZGOP. “Former Governor Napolitano and the Democrats in the legislature left us with a financial crisis on our hands. We all recognize Arizona government must learn to live within its means by reducing spending and reforming government. This Governor and Republican legislature have already made larger budget reductions and reforms than any previous governor and legislature. However, with continuing bad news on all fronts about declining tax revenues and the state having to borrow money next month to make payroll, the sooner the budget is balanced the better it will be for all Arizonans.
“We encourage the Governor and the Legislature to pursue any and all means necessary to right our current budget crisis and restore fiscal sanity to the state of Arizona,” concluded Pullen.