November 21, 2002 - Budget Busts Bloomberg Approval, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; NYC Voters Split On Higher Taxes If Commuters Pay More
New York City's budget woes have whacked Mayor Bloomberg's approval rating, driving it to a negative 41 - 46 percent - the lowest score for a New York City Mayor since Rudolph Giuliani's 37 - 57 percent rating April 19, 2000, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Bloomberg had a 57 - 23 percent approval in a July 18 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's poll, Bloomberg gets a negative 34 - 53 percent rating for his handling of the budget and a 40 - 41 percent split for his handling of public schools.

Bloomberg has been a better Mayor than Rudolph Giuliani, 15 percent of voters say, while 37 percent say Giuliani was better and 33 percent say both are the same.

But many voters back the Mayor on the commuter tax, splitting 46 - 47 percent on support for higher taxes for New York City residents - if such a tax hike persuades the State Legislature to re-impose the commuter tax on suburbanites who work in the City.

"The honeymoon is over. Unless your city or state is awash in cash, budget times are bad times for elected officials. After a big welcome, Mayor Bloomberg rates only a standoff in job approval," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"How about sharing the pain? About half of New York City voters say they'd accept higher local taxes as a trade-off for a new commuter tax."

Only 5 percent of New Yorkers are "very satisfied" with life in the Big Apple, while 39 percent are "somewhat satisfied;" 34 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" and 20 percent are "very dissatisfied." This is the lowest satisfaction rating since Quinnipiac University began measuring New York City voter satisfaction in November, 1996.

The City's budget problem is "very serious," 60 percent of New Yorkers say, while 29 percent say it is "somewhat serious."

"Mayor Mike has won the first round in the budget battle by convincing 60 percent of New Yorkers that the budget problems are 'very serious,'" Carroll said. "A sales tax increase would cause the least pain, New Yorkers say. Maybe they plan to shop in Jersey."


Asked which would cause the most pain:
  • 33 percent of New Yorkers say an income tax hike;
  • 23 percent say a property tax hike;
  • 20 percent say higher subway and bus fares;
  • 10 percent say East River bridge tolls;
  • 9 percent say a sales tax hike.



Asked which tax to hike if taxes must be hiked:
  • 37 percent say sales tax;
  • 32 percent say property taxes;
  • 19 percent say the income tax.
Asked where spending should be cut, 30 percent list social services; 23 percent list sanitation; 10 percent list police and 6 percent list public schools and 5 percent say firefighters.

Asked where spending should not be cut, 43 percent list public schools; 17 percent list police; 11 percent list firefighters; 9 list social services and 4 list sanitation.

From November 13 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,004 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling his job as Mayor?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Approve 41% 57% 37% 41% 52% 39% 24% 48% 36% 39% Disapprove 46 33 51 44 36 46 64 42 49 47 DK/NA 13 10 12 15 12 15 12 10 15 14

2. Do you think Michael Bloomberg has been a better Mayor than Rudolph Giuliani, a worse Mayor, or about the same?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Better 15% 6% 18% 14% 14% 23% 11% 16% 14% 16% Worse 37 51 32 41 37 25 50 38 36 34 About the same 33 23 35 32 32 36 27 31 34 32 DK/NA 15 20 14 13 16 16 12 15 15 18

3. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York City today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Very satisfied 5% 9% 4% 5% 6% 4% 4% 5% 5% 3% Smwht satisfied 39 45 38 38 45 35 32 44 35 39 Smwht dissatisfied 34 28 36 36 33 34 31 28 38 36 Very dissatisfied 20 15 21 19 14 23 32 21 19 20 DK/NA 2 3 2 2 2 4 1 2 3 2

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mayor Bloomberg is handling the public schools?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Approve 40% 58% 35% 40% 49% 35% 32% 47% 35% 39% Disapprove 41 26 45 40 31 50 52 33 46 42 DK/NA 19 15 20 20 20 16 16 19 19 20

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mayor Bloomberg is handling the city budget?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Approve 34% 42% 30% 39% 41% 31% 21% 38% 30% 34% Disapprove 53 46 56 48 45 57 69 51 54 54 DK/NA 14 12 14 13 15 12 10 11 16 13

6. Mayor Bloomberg is trying to balance the city budget. Do you think he should raise taxes, cut spending, or borrow money?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Raise taxes 22% 21% 23% 20% 30% 15% 14% 23% 22% 25% Cut spending 44 52 42 46 39 49 47 46 43 47 Borrow money 20 16 21 19 16 25 27 18 22 17 DK/NA 13 11 13 15 15 12 12 14 13 11

7. How serious do you think New York City's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, not at all serious?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Very serious 60% 55% 64% 57% 62% 65% 56% 60% 61% 59% Smwht serious 29 33 27 32 33 23 28 30 29 32 Not too serious 7 11 6 6 4 8 11 7 7 6 Not at all serious 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 1 3 DK/NA 2 - 2 2 1 2 3 1 2 1

8. To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, which city tax do you think should be increased: Personal income tax, sales tax, or property tax?

                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Income tax 19% 17% 20% 17% 21% 16% 18% 21% 17% 19% Sales tax 37 38 37 39 33 46 35 36 38 37 Property tax 32 31 32 32 35 27 32 31 32 35 DK/NA 12 15 11 12 11 10 14 12 13 9

9. To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, where do you think city spending should be decreased - Public schools, police, firefighters, sanitation or social services?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Public schools 6% 9% 5% 4% 5% 5% 7% 5% 6% 3% Police 10 5 11 10 6 15 11 10 9 9 Firefighters 5 6 4 6 3 5 7 5 5 5 Sanitation 23 16 26 20 22 25 24 22 23 21 Social services 30 47 25 33 35 24 29 37 25 34 DK/NA 27 17 29 27 29 26 23 22 31 28

10. And if you had to choose, where do you think city spending should not be decreased - Public schools, police, firefighters, sanitation or social services?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Public schools 43% 28% 47% 49% 35% 53% 48% 41% 45% 46% Police 17 34 15 12 22 13 12 20 15 17 Firefighters 11 17 8 14 12 9 10 13 9 14 Sanitation 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 4 3 3 Social services 9 4 10 7 7 11 12 8 10 6 DK/NA 16 14 17 15 20 11 14 14 18 14

11. Because of city budget problems, there will be increased taxes and other payments. Which of these do you think would hurt you the most: Increasing the personal income tax, increasing the sales tax, increasing the property tax, increasing subway and bus fares or placing tolls on the free East River bridges?

                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold
Income tax          33%   31%   31%   40%   37%   26%   30%   35%   31%   30%
Sales tax            9     7     8     9     9     8     5     8     9    10
Property tax        23    33    21    19    28    22    16    25    21    25
Subway and bus 
 fares              20    16    23    18    11    28    29    16    24    19
Tolls on East
 River bridges      10     9    11     9     8    11    12    12     8    11
DK/NA                6     4     6     5     5     5     7     5     6     5




12. Some have said that state leaders would be willing to re-impose the commuter tax, which is a tax on non-residents who work in the city, if city residents also paid more taxes. Would you be willing to pay more in local taxes, if the commuter tax was re-imposed on suburbanites who work in the city?
                                                                          Union
                    Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom   HsHold


Yes 46% 43% 48% 48% 58% 40% 33% 50% 44% 52% No 47 50 44 47 36 53 61 46 47 46 DK/NA 7 7 8 4 6 7 6 3 9 3