June 16, 2006 - Voter Tax Concerns Are Highest Ever In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; Special Legislative Session On Taxes Backed 10 - 1
In an open-ended question, with any answer allowed, 46 percent of New Jersey voters list taxes as the most important problem facing the state today, higher than any problem listed in any Quinnipiac University statewide or national poll.

This number includes 26 percent who specified "property tax" and 19 percent who listed taxes generally. Separate from taxes, 7 percent of voters list the budget or the budget deficit or government spending as the most important problem, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

New Jersey voters give Gov. Jon Corzine a split 39 - 41 percent overall approval.

Voters say 70 - 19 percent that Gov. Corzine will not reduce property taxes in New Jersey, and disapprove 45 - 39 percent of the way he's handling the state budget.

By an 86 - 9 percent margin, voters support a special session of the State Legislature this summer to address property tax reform. But only 34 percent of voters say it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" the special session will result in meaningful tax reduction, while 62 percent say "not too likely" or "not likely at all."

"Almost half of New Jersey voters, an unprecedented number, say taxes are the biggest problem facing the state, and most of them mean property taxes, " said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Nearly all voters back a special session of the Legislature this summer to tackle property tax relief, but they overwhelmingly doubt that the legislative session, or Gov. Corzine for that matter, will be successful in meaningful property tax reduction," Richards added.

A total of 92 percent of New Jersey voters say the state's budget problems are "very serious" or "somewhat serious."

New Jersey voter attitudes on other tax and budget questions are:
  • 60 - 34 percent oppose Corzine's proposal to raise sales taxes from 6 to 7 percent;
  • 76 - 20 percent oppose cutting state aid to local schools to avoid a sales tax increase;
  • 58 - 35 percent oppose a 15 percent pay cut for state workers to avoid a sales tax hike;
  • 57 - 35 percent support a wage freeze for state workers to avoid tax hikes;
  • 62 - 33 percent oppose a property tax reduction if it means less money for education.
Of the 78 percent of New Jersey voters who pay property taxes, 67 percent say these taxes are a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem for them and their family, while 33 percent say they are "not too serious" or "not serious at all."

"In the short term, voters are very worried about the state budget, but reject the state sales tax Gov. Corzine has proposed to balance the budget. On the other hand, they oppose such major proposals as cutting aid to local governments and schools, or slashing state workers pay 15 percent, to avoid raising the sales tax," Richards said.

"The only measure they do support is a wage freeze for state workers in future budgets."

From June 7 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,099 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 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 39% 26% 52% 37% 40% 37% Disapprove 41 60 24 41 41 41 DK/NA 20 14 23 22 19 21

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 49% 38% 29% 38% 40% Disapprove 26 44 50 39 44 DK/NA 26 19 21 23 16

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                        Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26
                        2006    2006    2006    2006


Approve 39 35 43 38 Disapprove 41 42 21 14 DK/NA 20 23 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 27% 19% 33% 28% 28% 26% Disapprove 53 64 45 54 59 48 DK/NA 19 17 23 17 13 25

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 30% 28% 23% 31% 23% Disapprove 45 52 64 51 58 DK/NA 25 21 12 18 20

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Jun 15  Jan 26  Apr 26
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2005    2005    2006


Approve 27 26 35 34 31 44 26 Disapprove 53 55 41 47 49 31 55 DK/NA 19 20 24 18 19 25 20



18. 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% 7% 3% 1% 3% 3% Smwht satisfied 27 18 36 26 30 24 Smwht dissatisfied 37 36 35 38 35 38 Very dissatisfied 32 39 24 34 31 34 DK/NA 1 - 2 1 1 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very satisfied 2% 2% 2% 3% 6% Smwht satisfied 41 25 18 27 24 Smwht dissatisfied 32 37 44 36 34 Very dissatisfied 24 34 35 31 36 DK/NA 1 2 1 2 -

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?

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


Very satisfied 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 Smwht satisfied 27 33 44 39 41 38 39 Smwht dissatisfied 37 31 31 33 30 33 34 Very dissatisfied 32 33 20 23 23 25 23 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 2 1 1



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

                        Tot


Taxes Total 46% Taxes general 19 Property tax 26 Gas tax 1

Budget Total 7% Budget general 3 Budget deficits 2 Gov too big/Gov spending 1 Budget priorities 1

Economy Total 7% Economy general 2 Unemployment/jobs 2 Minimum wage too low 1 Cost of living 2

Politicians Total 7% Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Political corruption 6

Education Total 6% Education general 3 Funding education 2 Education other 1

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

Healthcare Total 3% Healthcare/Costs/ Ins/HMO's 2 Medicare 1

Environment/Pollution 3% Immigration 2 Auto insurance 1 Gas prices 1 Housing general 1 Lack of ethics/Morality 1 Open space/Urban sprawl/ Overdevelopment 1 Poor conditions roads/ highways 1

Other 3 DK/NA 3



TREND: What do you think is the most important problem facing New Jersey today?

                                        Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Jun 15
                                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2005


Auto insurance 1 2 2 2 4

Budget/Spending Total 7% 7% 10% 5% 3% Budget general 3 3 4 2 1 Budget deficits 2 2 4 2 1 Government too big/Gov spending 1 1 1 1 1 Budget priorities 1 1 1 - -

Crime Total 4% 1% 4% 3% 3% Crime/Violence general 1 1 2 2 1 Gangs/Youth crime 2 - 1 1 1 Drugs 1 - 1 - 1

Economy Total 7% 7% 5% 7% 7% Economy general 2 2 1 1 1 Unemployment/jobs 2 2 2 3 4 Minimum wage too low 1 - - - - Cost of living 2 3 2 3 2

Education Total 6% 7% 6% 7% 6% Education general 3 4 4 5 3 Teachers - - - - 1 Funding education 2 3 2 2 2 Education other 1 - - - -

Gas prices 1 3 1 - -

Environment/Pollution 3 2 2 1 3

Healthcare Total 3% 2% 3% 3% 2% Healthcare/Costs/Insurance/HMO's 2 2 3 3 2 Medicare 1 - - - -

Politicians/Campaigns Total 7% 8% 7% 9% 9% Politicians/Campaigns general 1 1 1 1 1 Political corruption 6 6 5 8 7 Governor/State leadership - 1 1 - 1

Taxes Total 46% 41% 38% 42% 40% Taxes general 19 20 14 15 9 Property tax 26 21 24 27 31 Gas tax 1 - - - -

Other 3 5 4 3 2 DK/NA 3 5 3 7 5



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 39% 23% 53% 39% 42% 36% Disapprove 45 62 30 44 44 45 DK/NA 17 14 17 17 14 19

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 48% 39% 29% 33% 42% Disapprove 31 44 53 46 48 DK/NA 21 16 18 21 10

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?

                        Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16
                        2006    2006    2006


Approve 39 31 32 Disapprove 45 46 24 DK/NA 17 23 44



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 19% 12% 29% 16% 21% 17% No 70 82 55 73 70 69 DK/NA 11 6 16 11 9 13

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 29% 16% 14% 21% 18% No 53 75 75 70 70 DK/NA 18 9 10 9 12

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

                        Jun 16  Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 22
                        2006    2006    2006    2005


Yes 19 25 35 46 No 70 63 53 44 DK/NA 11 12 11 9



22. 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% 4% 2% 2% 3% 2% Good 42 41 43 43 52 34 Not so good 38 36 37 38 31 44 Poor 16 16 16 16 13 18 DK/NA 2 3 1 2 1 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Excellent 4% 3% 2% 2% 2% Good 37 43 43 35 51 Not so good 42 39 41 38 31 Poor 16 14 14 20 14 DK/NA 1 1 - 4 1

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

                        Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Aug 4   Jun 22  Mar 9
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2004    2004    2004 


Excellent 3 2 3 3 1 2 2 Good 42 34 47 46 51 51 42 Not so good 38 39 35 36 37 36 42 Poor 16 22 13 14 10 9 12 DK/NA 2 3 3 1 1 2 2



23. 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 58% 58% 56% 60% 56% 59% Smwht serious 34 36 35 32 35 33 Not too serious 4 2 4 5 4 3 Not at all serious 1 1 2 1 2 1 DK/NA 3 3 3 3 2 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very serious 52% 60% 52% 58% 63% Smwht serious 35 33 44 30 31 Not too serious 6 4 2 4 4 Not at all serious 1 1 - 4 1 DK/NA 6 2 2 4 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?

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


Very serious 58 56 53 54 45 38 35 Somewhat serious 34 35 38 38 42 49 51 Not too serious 4 5 5 5 8 7 10 Not at all serious 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 DK/NA 3 3 3 2 4 5 3



24. To balance the state budget, Governor Corzine has proposed raising the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent. Do you think this increase in the state sales tax is necessary to balance the budget or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 34% 24% 43% 33% 36% 32% No 60 71 51 60 59 62 DK/NA 6 5 6 6 5 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 33% 37% 27% 28% 38% No 59 57 71 65 56 DK/NA 8 6 2 7 6

TREND: To balance the state budget, Governor Corzine has proposed raising the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent. Do you think this increase in the state sales tax is necessary to balance the budget or not?

                        Jun 16  Apr 26
                        2006    2006


Yes 34 33 No 60 60 DK/NA 6 7



25. One way to avoid a state sales tax increase would be to cut state aid to public schools and local governments. Would you support a cut in state aid to public schools and local governments to avoid a state sales tax increase?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 20% 36% 9% 19% 22% 17% No 76 60 88 76 74 79 DK/NA 4 5 4 4 4 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 15% 20% 20% 18% 24% No 82 77 72 77 72 DK/NA 2 3 8 5 4



25a. (If 'support' q25) A cut in state aid to public schools and local governments would almost certainly trigger a local property tax increase. Do you still favor a cut in state aid to public schools and local governments to avoid a state sales tax increase?

                        SUPPORT Q25........
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 56% 66% 44% No 37 27 47 DK/NA 7 6 8



26. Some say an increase in the state sales tax could be avoided if there was a 15 percent cut in pay for state workers. Would you support a 15 percent cut in pay for state workers to avoid a state sales tax increase?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 35% 49% 24% 35% 35% 35% No 58 44 71 57 59 58 DK/NA 7 7 5 8 6 7

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 23% 36% 38% 38% 38% No 71 59 53 54 55 DK/NA 6 5 9 9 6



27. Would you support a wage freeze for state workers in future budgets if it helped avoid future tax hikes?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 57% 69% 50% 57% 58% 57% No 35 25 42 36 36 35 DK/NA 7 6 8 7 7 8

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 47% 58% 61% 59% 61% No 45 34 32 34 33 DK/NA 8 8 7 7 7



28. The leaders of the New Jersey Senate are calling on Governor Corzine to call a special session of the legislature this summer to address property tax reform. Do you support or oppose such a session?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 86% 89% 84% 88% 87% 86% Oppose 9 7 10 7 10 8 DK/NA 5 4 6 5 4 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 76% 89% 90% 86% 88% Oppose 13 7 7 10 8 DK/NA 11 4 3 4 4



29. How likely is it that such a session would result in meaningful property tax reduction in New Jersey - very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very likely 5% 6% 6% 3% 5% 4% Smwht likely 29 23 39 24 29 29 Not too likely 40 40 32 47 40 40 Not likely at all 22 28 18 21 22 22 DK/NA 4 2 5 5 4 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very likely 7% 4% 3% 7% 4% Smwht likely 33 31 25 28 25 Not too likely 26 40 48 43 44 Not likely at all 22 23 23 19 23 DK/NA 12 3 2 3 3



30. Do you support property tax reduction even if it meant less money to spend on public education in New Jersey?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 33% 51% 24% 32% 36% 31% No 62 46 72 63 61 63 DK/NA 5 4 5 5 3 7

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 27% 36% 34% 36% 31% No 66 60 59 62 64 DK/NA 7 4 7 3 5



31. Do you currently pay property taxes in New Jersey?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 78% 91% 68% 77% 79% 77% No 22 9 32 23 21 23 DK/NA - - - - - -

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 59% 81% 81% 79% 86% No 41 19 19 21 14 DK/NA - - - - -



31a. (If 'yes' q31) Would you say that the property taxes you pay are a very serious problem for you and your family, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem or not a problem at all for you and your family?

                        PAY PROPERTY TAXES Q31.....................
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very serious problem 27% 29% 26% 28% 25% 30% Smwht serious 40 38 44 38 40 39 Not too serious 23 23 19 27 25 20 Not a problem 10 10 11 8 10 10 DK/NA - - - - - -

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very serious problem 27% 25% 32% 34% 23% Smwht serious 51 43 37 38 29 Not too serious 19 23 19 19 31 Not a problem 4 8 12 9 17 DK/NA - - 1 - -