I posted my syndicated column on Saturday, but comments were disabled. So, let’s do it again, shall we?
As you probably know, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has flatly ruled out an income- or sales-tax hike in exchange for a property-tax cut and more money for education. House Speaker Michael Madigan has said there isn’t sufficient support in his Democratic caucus to pass an income- or sales-tax hike.
But there’s a recent poll out that shows the public disagrees with both politicians. The poll showing majority support for a tax-swap plan also seems to be right in line with previous surveys. In addition, the poll found strong opposition to the governor’s super-controversial gross-receipts-tax plan.
The survey, conducted independently by the Glengariff Group, found that about 57 percent of Illinois voters support a so-called “tax swap,” while just less than 28 percent oppose it.
The question was put to respondents in a very neutral manner and is one of the better polling questions on this subject that I’ve ever seen […]
The poll showed 36.7 percent “strongly support” the tax hike, with 20.5 percent “somewhat” supporting it, 14 percent “somewhat” opposed and 11 percent are “strongly” opposed. Seventeen percent are undecided, according to the survey. […]
The poll found that even a majority of Republican voters supported the tax-swap proposal (52.6 percent, with 31.9 percent saying they “strongly” support it and just 20 percent saying they “strongly” opposed it). A whopping 65 percent of African-American voters say they back the plan, while 53.6 percent of whites say they support it. Females backed it 61.3 to 24, while men supported it 53 to 31.6.
Suburban collar county voters backed the proposal 56.8 to 31. Majorities of downstate voters supported the swap idea except in southern Illinois, where the backing was more tepid. In western and northwestern Illinois, 67.3 percent of voters supported the plan, while 51.8 percent of central Illinoisans backed it and 44.3 percent of southerners endorsed it (with 27.9 percent against and the rest undecided). However, the margins of error are quite high on those numbers since they are such small subsets — so they may be right, but beware.
Several polls in recent months have shown broad support for the tax swap idea. Read the whole thing for those results and discuss below.