December 12, 2002 - New Jersey Voters Hate Local Property Tax The Most, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Opposition To New York City Commuter Tax Tops 2 - 1
The most hated tax in New Jersey is the local property tax, 54 percent of voters say in a Quinnipiac University poll released today, followed by 17 percent who list the federal income tax; 9 percent who most dislike the Social Security Tax; 8 percent who dislike the state sales tax and 7 percent who dislike the state income tax.

By a 61 - 28 percent margin, voters would rather cut services than raise taxes.

But if they had to choose, 74 percent of voters would prefer to raise state taxes, while 17 percent would rather hike property taxes, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Also if forced to make a choice, 54 percent favor hiking the state sales tax, compared to 33 percent for hiking the state income tax.

"New Jersey voters are in near-revolt over their property taxes. They hate property taxes more than all the other major taxes combined. And they are sick and tired of the governor and the legislature forcing higher property taxes by either cutting or freezing state aid to local government and school districts. An overwhelming 74 percent said they would rather have Gov. McGreevey raise state taxes than freeze state aid and force a property tax hike," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The voters' message is equally clear on what the state should do: Cut state services, starting with transportation costs and then environmental funds if you have to, but don't touch education or health care money," Richards added. "Then, if state taxes have to go up, a majority back a sales tax hike and only one in three prefer an income tax hike."

When asked where to cut services to balance the state budget, 45 percent of New Jersey voters point to transportation, followed by 27 percent who target the environment, with 7 percent each listing education and health care.

New Jersey voters oppose 69 - 29 percent a New York City tax on Garden State residents who work in the Big Apple. Opposition ranges from 79 percent among North Jersey urban voters to 63 percent in the Philadelphia suburbs.

It's a "good idea" to retaliate against New York by taxing New Yorkers who work in New Jersey, 51 percent of voters say.

Only 27 percent of New Jersey voters say it's a "good idea" for Gov. James McGreevey to use his veto power over World Trade Center development to try to block a New York City commuter tax, while 67 percent say this is a "bad idea."

"Not surprisingly, most New Jersey voters don't think a commuter tax imposed by New York City is fair. But they are pretty evenly split over whether New Jersey should retaliate with a tax of its own. And they strongly reject talk of holding up rebuilding of the World Trade Center as a means of protesting a new commuter tax," Richards said.

From December 3 - 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed 934 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and nationally as a public service and for research.
For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks or call (203) 582-5201.

16. Which tax do you dislike the most --
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Federal income tax 17% 14% 17% 19% 20% 15% 18% Federal Social Security tax 9 11 8 8 9 9 10 State income tax 7 8 6 8 8 7 8 State sales tax 8 7 8 9 9 7 6 Local property tax 54 54 56 53 50 58 56 DK/NA 4 5 4 3 5 4 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Federal income tax 20% 18% 16% 14% 16% Federal Social Security tax 7 9 9 9 12 State income tax 10 4 7 9 9 State sales tax 6 9 9 9 8 Local property tax 56 54 56 54 52 DK/NA 2 6 3 5 3



17. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Excellent 2% 2% 1% 1% 3% 1% 2% Good 43 46 41 45 49 38 44 Not so good 42 40 44 40 37 46 40 Poor 12 10 12 12 10 13 13 DK/NA 2 2 1 3 2 2 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Excellent 1% 2% 2% 2% 1% Good 36 41 45 53 45 Not so good 51 45 41 30 39 Poor 11 10 12 13 14 DK/NA 1 3 1 3 1



21. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Raising taxes 28% 17% 41% 22% 21% 34% 27% Cutting services 61 75 46 65 69 53 63 DK/NA 12 8 13 13 9 14 10

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Raising taxes 36% 29% 20% 26% 26% Cutting services 48 58 71 65 63 DK/NA 16 13 8 9 11



22. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising the state sales tax or the state income tax?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


State sales tax 54% 56% 56% 52% 51% 57% 61% State income tax 33 28 35 35 34 32 29 DK/NA 13 16 9 13 15 11 10

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

State sales tax 49% 57% 54% 56% 51% State income tax 34 32 29 34 36 DK/NA 16 11 17 11 13



23. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, where do you think state spending should be decreased -
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Education 7% 9% 5% 10% 9% 5% 7% Transportation 45 37 50 46 44 46 42 The environment 27 32 26 23 21 31 28 Health care 7 7 6 7 10 5 7 DK/NA 14 13 13 15 16 12 16



Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Education 6% 10% 9% 6% 4% Transportation 46 42 46 51 44 The environment 31 29 24 21 25 Health care 7 6 10 7 6 DK/NA 10 14 10 16 20



24. To balance the state budget, Governor McGreevey is considering freezing state aid to towns and cities and school districts for the second consecutive year. This would almost certainly result in property tax increases.

If you had to choose, would you prefer -- Increasing local property taxes or Increasing state taxes?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Increasing property taxes 17% 16% 20% 14% 18% 16% 14% Increasing state taxes 74 71 74 77 70 78 80 DK/NA 9 13 6 10 12 7 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Increasing property taxes 17% 14% 21% 17% 19% Increasing state taxes 79 75 67 76 72 DK/NA 4 11 12 7 9



25. Do you think New Jersey residents who work in New York City should pay a tax to New York City to help pay for basic services such as fire and police or not?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Yes 29% 29% 29% 30% 30% 28% 28% No 69 68 69 68 69 69 71 DK/NA 2 3 2 2 1 3 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 21% 28% 29% 36% 32% No 79 69 71 63 64 DK/NA - 3 - 2 4



26. I'm going to mention some possible ways New Jersey might retaliate against New York City's imposing a new commuter tax on New Jersey residents who work in New York City. For each one please tell me whether you think it is a good idea or a bad idea. (intro also to q27)

Find some way to impose new taxes on New York City residents who work in New Jersey. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Good idea 51% 49% 51% 53% 50% 52% 48% Bad idea 45 48 44 44 46 44 49 DK/NA 4 3 5 3 4 4 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Good idea 50% 53% 50% 49% 51% Bad idea 46 42 46 49 44 DK/NA 4 4 4 2 5



27. (see intro q26) Hold up rebuilding the World Trade Center by Governor McGreevey exercising his veto power over proposed projects. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?

                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Good idea 27% 24% 26% 30% 26% 28% 28% Bad idea 67 71 67 64 69 65 67 DK/NA 6 6 6 6 5 7 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Good idea 35% 25% 22% 33% 22% Bad idea 59 69 74 61 70 DK/NA 6 7 4 6 8