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Poll shows support for raising taxes
by Sandra Chereb, Associated Press Writer
Feb 15, 2011 | 1683 views | 4 4 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune File/Dan McGee - Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to a crowd in Carson City during his inauguration. Sandoval said he would not raise or create new taxes as part of his election campaign.
Tribune File/Dan McGee - Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to a crowd in Carson City during his inauguration. Sandoval said he would not raise or create new taxes as part of his election campaign.
CARSON CITY — Support is at an "all-time high" to raise taxes to address Nevada's budget crisis, according to a new poll released Tuesday. But the same survey said 52 percent believe raising taxes or fees on businesses would harm attempts to diversify Nevada's economy and lead to more job losses, an argument championed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The telephone survey of 500 likely Nevada voters was conducted Feb. 8-10 by Republican pollster Glen Bolger. It had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points and was commissioned by the Retail Association of Nevada.

The findings come as the 2011 Legislature, controlled by Democrats, grapples with a state budget deficit estimated between $1.2 billion and $3 billion. Sandoval, a first-term Republican, has proposed cutting $1.6 billion from existing spending levels in his $5.8 billion, two-year budget proposal.

Sandoval has said he won't raise taxes or fees, arguing that would be the worst thing Nevada could do as it tries to crawl out of the Great Recession and leads the nation in joblessness, bankruptcies and foreclosures.

Though 52 percent said they would favor raising taxes to avoid deep cuts to education and social services, 37 percent said government should cut spending.

"Support for raising taxes to address the budget shortfall is at an all-time high," the survey said.

Still, 61 percent said raising taxes or fees would lead to more job losses in a state with a 14.5 percent unemployment rate. More than half, 52 percent, said taxes or fees would hurt Nevada's efforts to diversify its economy, while 45 percent believed it would have no impact.

Also, 56 percent said additional spending cuts can be absorbed by trimming waste and abuse.

If taxes are raised to close the budget gap, 82 percent said the levies should be temporary.

Part of Sandoval's budget involves eliminating one-day-per-month furloughs for state employees and imposing a 5 percent salary cut instead. Respondents to the survey favored the idea 57 percent to 39 percent, but 74 percent said teacher salaries should not be included, with 24 percent saying they should.

Other findings:

• 55 percent favored instituting a corporate income tax.

• Voters were split over whether Nevada's tax structure should be overhauled, with 46 percent saying the current system works well and 48 percent saying it needs significant change. In May 2009, the breakdown was 56 percent for the current system versus 39 percent calling for change.

• For funding higher education and making up shortfalls, 36 percent said state taxes should be raised, 32 percent said tuition should be increased, 21 percent said budgets should be cut, and 11 percent were undecided.

On the political front, the survey said 69 percent of respondents are pessimistic about the state's direction, while 24 percent said it was on the right track.

Sandoval received an overall approval rating of 47 percent, compared with 26 percent who disapprove of his job performance so far. Not surprisingly, his greatest support was among Republicans, who gave him a 66 psercent approval rating. Among independents, 41 percent rated him favorably and 20 percent disapproved. Among Democrats, 34 percent approved and 44 percent disapproved.

The governor's approval rating, however, outpaced public opinion about the Legislature, which received an overall disapproval rating of 36 percent, compared with 35 percent of respondents who viewed legislators favorably.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
February 19, 2011
We Gibbons want to raise taxes on everybody except us, we don't care if it takes food off the plate of working families and their children, we don't care if private sector business's close and lay off workers, we don't care if governments overspend and force later generations to pay the bill.
February 16, 2011
Wow! Where is my other comment?

All I mentioned was to cut the budget and make more layoffs.

Just cut the budget.
February 16, 2011
What we need is to cut the budgets.

Lay off goverment employees and teachers.

Did I mention to cut the budgets?

Make deep cuts now!
February 16, 2011
We Republicans pledge not to raise taxes, we don't care if people want protection or education. We don't care if people want taxes to pay for services. We don't care if we lose jobs because of budget cuts. We will not raise taxes.
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