I find this poll result strange because that’s not what voters around the state – even liberal Orange County voters – have been saying when asked to approve local option 1/4 cent sales tax hikes. Maybe this is a framing thing. Maybe county leaders should have said not having the hike meant cutting jobs.
The General Assembly won’t have to seek the voters approval if they want to raise the sales tax, but it’s hard to see the smaller government crowd signing on to it.
Here’s the data link (pdf).
From the Elon Poll release:
North Carolina State Budget Situation
When told of the state budget shortfall and asked on how they would address it, only 15 percent of respondents were unwilling to increase existing taxes, but a majority of North Carolinians oppose the idea of creating new taxes where none currently exist.
If faced with a tax increase, half the respondents would prefer to increase the sales tax. Twelve percent would prefer an increase in property tax, while 16 percent would prefer an increase in the income tax.
In a separate question, the poll found 62 percent of citizens would support an increase in the sales tax by one cent on every dollar spent.
“These results indicate that North Carolinians are cognizant of the situation facing the state and, apparently in lieu of making things worse for others, are willing to shoulder their share of the budget burden,” said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll.
Citizens are also opposed (51 percent) to equal cuts across state programs, as well as eliminating current state employee jobs (56 percent).