March 16, 2006 - If Taxes Must Go Up, Raise Sales Tax, Voters Say 2-1, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; Corzine Won't Cut Property Taxes, Voters Say
If they had to choose, 59 percent of New Jersey voters would rather raise the state sales tax to balance the budget, while 30 percent would rather raise the state income tax, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Republican voters prefer raising the sales tax rather than the income tax 66 - 20 percent, with Democrats for the sales tax 56 - 38 percent and independent voters for the sales tax 59 - 28 percent.

But if they had a choice between raising taxes or cutting services, voters prefer to cut services 58 - 29 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Democrats split 43 - 42 percent on tax hikes or service cuts, while Republicans prefer service cuts 76 - 14 percent and independent voters prefer service cuts 59 - 28 percent.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 38 percent of New Jersey voters list taxes as the most important problem in the state, followed by the state budget at 10 percent. When asked specifically about the state's budget problems 91 percent say they are "very serious" or "somewhat serious."

"Almost every New Jersey voter recognizes there is a serious budget problem in the state, but by a 2 to 1 margin, they want deeper cuts in state programs rather than tax increases to balance the budget," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"If taxes must be raised, voters say make it the sales tax rather than the income tax," Richards added.

New Jersey voters oppose 67 - 31 percent raising the gasoline tax to finance road improvements and mass transportation, with consistent results among urban, suburban and ex-urban voters.

New Jersey voters give Gov. Jon Corzine a 43 - 21 percent approval rating, with 36 percent undecided. This compares to a 38 - 14 percent approval rating, with 48 percent undecided in a January 26 Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters approve 32 - 24 percent, with 44 percent undecided, of the way Gov. Corzine is handling the state budget.

By a 47 - 40 percent margin, New Jersey voters do not believe that Gov. Corzine will clean up corruption in state government. This compares to 47 - 41 percent who believed he would clean up corruption in the January 26 survey. In this latest survey, women say 47 - 39 percent that he will clean up corruption.

New Jersey voters say 63 - 25 percent that Corzine will not reduce property taxes in the state, compared to 53 - 35 percent no confidence on this issue January 26.

"One thing the budget crisis has brought out in the state -- voters are getting less and less confident that Gov. Corzine is going to do anything about property taxes," Richards said. "Now nearly two thirds say he will not be able to cut what voters have said all along is the most hated tax in New Jersey.

"Most voters don't know that Gov. Corzine wants to borrow money to provide new funds for roads and other transportation projects - but those who do know about it oppose the borrowing."

From March 8 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,147 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 30% 57% 39% 40% 44% Disapprove 21 33 8 27 25 18 DK/NA 36 37 35 34 35 37

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 47% 43% 35% 43% 44% Disapprove 16 19 32 21 21 DK/NA 37 38 34 36 35

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26
                        2006    2006


Approve 43 38 Disapprove 21 14 DK/NA 36 48



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 35% 31% 42% 34% 33% 36% Disapprove 41 48 32 46 49 35 DK/NA 24 22 26 20 17 29

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 30% 36% 38% 34% 36% Disapprove 39 41 40 46 42 DK/NA 31 24 22 20 22

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17  Jan 26  Nov 17
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2004


Approve 35 34 31 35 33 44 41 Disapprove 41 47 49 43 45 31 41 DK/NA 24 18 19 22 22 25 19



15. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 3% 2% 4% 3% 3% 4% Smwht satisfied 44 39 54 40 41 46 Smwht dissatisfied 31 29 29 34 31 31 Very dissatisfied 20 29 11 23 24 17 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 - 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very satisfied - 4% 6% 3% 3% Smwht satisfied 47 46 43 45 38 Smwht dissatisfied 36 31 27 29 34 Very dissatisfied 15 19 23 22 24 DK/NA 3 - 1 1 -

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Aug 10  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17  Jan 27
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005


Very satisfied 3 3 4 3 3 3 6 Smwht satisfied 44 39 41 38 39 39 47 Smwht dissatisfied 31 33 30 33 34 31 30 Very dissatisfied 20 23 23 25 23 27 16 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 1 1 1



16. What do you think is the most important problem facing New Jersey today?

                        Tot


Taxes Total 38% Taxes general 14 Property tax 24

Budget Total 10% Budget general 4 Budget deficits 4 Government too big/Gov spending 1 Budget priorities 1

Politicians Total 7% Political corruption 5 Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Governor/State leadership 1

Education Total 6% Education general 4 Funding education 2

Economy Total 5% Economy general 1 Unemployment/jobs 2 Cost of living 2

Crime Total 4% Crime/Violence general 2 Gangs/Youth crime 1 Drugs 1

Environment Total 3% Environment/Pollution 2 Open space/Urban sprawl/ Overdevelopment 1

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 3

Overcrowding/Over population 2

Auto insurance 2

Criminal justice system 1 Gas prices 1 Poverty/Homeless 1 Housing Availability 1 Senior issues 1 Lack of ethics/Morality 1 Immigration 1

Other 4 DK/NA 3



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 32% 23% 42% 33% 33% 31% Disapprove 24 32 13 28 27 21 DK/NA 44 45 46 40 40 47

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 27% 32% 33% 34% 34% Disapprove 23 22 28 23 24 DK/NA 49 46 39 43 42



18. Do you think Jon Corzine will clean up corruption in state government or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 40% 31% 53% 36% 32% 47% No 47 55 35 55 57 39 DK/NA 12 13 12 9 10 14

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 48% 40% 36% 40% 37% No 40 45 52 50 52 DK/NA 11 15 12 10 11

TREND: Do you think Jon Corzine will clean up corruption in state government or not?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 22
                        2006    2006    2005


Yes 40 47 37 No 47 41 50 DK/NA 12 12 13



19. Do you think Jon Corzine will reduce property taxes in New Jersey or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 25% 21% 34% 19% 23% 26% No 63 71 50 69 66 60 DK/NA 12 8 16 12 10 14

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 25% 26% 23% 32% 19% No 63 61 69 56 67 DK/NA 13 14 8 11 14

TREND: Do you think Jon Corzine will reduce property taxes in New Jersey or not?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 22
                        2006    2006    2005


Yes 25 35 46 No 63 53 44 DK/NA 12 11 9



20. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 3% 5% 2% 3% 5% 1% Good 47 50 47 46 51 43 Not so good 35 31 38 33 28 40 Poor 13 11 10 17 13 13 DK/NA 3 3 3 1 4 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Excellent 2% 2% 6% 4% 1% Good 47 50 51 43 42 Not so good 39 34 30 33 37 Poor 11 10 10 19 18 DK/NA 1 4 2 2 2

TREND: Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Aug 4   Jun 22  Mar 9   Apr 2   Dec 12
                        2006    2006    2004    2004    2004    2003    2002


Excellent 3 3 1 2 2 2 2 Good 47 46 51 51 42 37 43 Not so good 35 36 37 36 42 47 42 Poor 13 14 10 9 12 12 12 DK/NA 3 1 1 2 2 3 2



21. How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very serious 53% 52% 50% 57% 57% 49% Smwht serious 38 39 38 36 33 41 Not too serious 5 5 6 4 5 5 Not at all serious 1 - 2 1 2 1 DK/NA 3 3 3 2 3 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very serious 55% 51% 46% 56% 56% Smwht serious 33 39 46 35 35 Not too serious 7 6 3 5 4 Not at all serious - - 2 1 4 DK/NA 6 4 3 2 2

TREND: How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 12  Apr 2   Dec 11
                        2006    2006    2003    2003    2002


Very serious 53 54 45 38 35 Somewhat serious 38 38 42 49 51 Not too serious 5 5 8 7 10 Not at all serious 1 - 1 1 1 DK/NA 3 2 4 5 3



22. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Raise taxes 29% 14% 43% 28% 25% 32% Cut services 58 76 42 59 65 52 DK/NA 13 10 15 13 10 16

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Raise taxes 39% 24% 26% 33% 27% Cut services 38 65 62 53 62 DK/NA 23 11 13 13 11

TREND: To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Apr 2   Dec 12
                        2006    2006    2003    2002


Raising taxes 29 28 32 28 Cutting services 58 57 54 61 DK/NA 13 16 14 12



23. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising the state sales tax or the state income tax?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Sales tax 59% 66% 56% 59% 57% 61% Income tax 30 20 38 28 30 30 DK/NA 11 14 6 12 13 9

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Sales tax 51% 60% 61% 66% 57% Income tax 37 28 30 27 30 DK/NA 12 12 9 8 13

TREND: To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising the state sales tax or the state income tax?

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Dec 12
                        2006    2006    2002


Sales tax 59 61 54 Income tax 30 25 33 DK/NA 11 15 13



24. To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 31% 27% 32% 34% 37% 26% Oppose 67 71 65 64 61 71 DK/NA 3 2 3 2 2 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 37% 33% 29% 27% 26% Oppose 60 64 69 72 71 DK/NA 3 3 2 1 3

TREND: To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax? (* Jan 2005 que did not include "and mass trans.")

                        Mar 16  Jan 26  Jan 27
                        2006    2006    2005


Support 31 27 39 Oppose 67 69 57 DK/NA 3 3 4



25. Have you heard or read anything about Governor Corzine's plan to borrow money to pay for road and bridge maintenance?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 25% 26% 19% 32% 34% 18% No 73 74 79 66 65 80 DK/NA 2 - 2 2 2 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 18% 26% 26% 26% 28% No 81 72 72 72 70 DK/NA - 2 2 2 2



26. (If 'heard or read' q25) Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Corzine's plan?

                        HEARD OF PLAN Q25...........................
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 25% 23% 40% 20% 31% 17% Disapprove 56 61 36 67 56 56 DK/NA 19 17 25 13 13 27



27. As you may know, immigrants to the United States can be here legally - that is, they have been legally admitted to the country and are allowed to live and work here; or they can be here illegally. Such immigrants are sometimes called 'undocumented' because they do not have papers allowing them to live and work here. And now a question about undocumented immigrants, that is, immigrants who are here illegally ..

Do you support or oppose allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers' licenses in New Jersey?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 16% 10% 23% 15% 18% 14% Oppose 81 87 74 83 80 82 DK/NA 3 3 2 2 2 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 26% 19% 12% 11% 11% Oppose 72 78 85 88 85 DK/NA 2 3 3 1 4