April 14, 2011 - Property Tax Cap Is Top Priority For New York Voters, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Strong Support For Gay Marriage, Redistricting Reform

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New York State voters support a proposed property tax cap 79 - 17 percent and in another question 46 percent say this should be the top priority for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds strong support for several other issues pending in Albany:
  • 56 - 38 percent for a law allowing same-sex couples to marry;
  • 51 percent for a commission independent of the State Legislature to draw district lines for members of Congress and the legislature, with 29 percent supporting a commission with some input from the legislature and 12 percent for allowing the legislature to continue drawing district lines;
  • 55 - 40 percent for requiring legislators who practice law to disclose their clients.
But voters oppose 52 - 41 percent public financing for state elections.

Asked which of these items should be the top priority:
  • 46 percent want the property tax cap;
  • 29 percent want ethics reform;
  • 7 percent want redistricting reform;
  • 6 percent want same-sex marriage.
"New Yorkers think property tax relief should be the Number One legislative priority now that the state budget is out of the way," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Next on the list is governmental ethics. Same-sex marriage? Political re-districting? Voters support these ideas, but they want that tax cap first.

"An independent commission should draw the legislative and congressional district lines, most voters think, but a fairly good number would have some legislative input in the process."

"Ethics questions get complicated. Most New Yorkers think lawyer-legislators should list their clients. A small majority oppose public financing of campaigns," Carroll added.

Support for same-sex marriage is 70 - 25 percent among Democrats and 60 - 35 percent among independent voters, with Republicans opposed 61 - 34 percent. Men support the measure 52 - 43 percent and women support it 61 - 34 percent.

New York State voters say 82 - 14 percent that teacher layoffs should be based on performance rather than seniority, matching the 85 - 12 percent finding in a February 24 Quinnipiac University poll. Even voters in union households support performance-based layoffs 67 - 28 percent.

By a 49 - 25 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of public school teachers, but they say 49 - 42 percent that teacher unions play a negative rather than a positive role in improving the state's education system.

Public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with merit pay, voters say 67 - 30 percent. But firing bad teachers should be easier, voters say 64 - 31 percent.

"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call to end LIFO, the last-in-first-out system for deciding how teachers should be laid off, wins solid approval. New Yorkers like the people who teach their kids, not their unions," Carroll said.

New York State voters support rent regulation 59 - 33 percent. Support is 69 - 24 percent among Democrats and 59 - 33 percent among independent voters, while Republicans split 46 - 47 percent.

Support for rent regulation is 68 - 26 percent among New York City voters, 57 - 35 percent among suburban voters and 52 - 37 percent among upstate voters.

Pensions for local government employees should be negotiated by local officials rather than set by the State Legislature, voters say 50 - 38 percent, including 53 - 38 percent in union households.

From April 5 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,704 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.


15. Some people have said that New York State government is dysfunctional. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Agree                72%    74%    67%    75%    75%    69%
Disagree             23     23     25     20     21     25
DK/NA                 5      3      7      5      4      6
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Agree                76%    66%    72%    80%
Disagree             19     29     22     17
DK/NA                 5      5      6      3
 
TREND: Some people have said that New York state government is dysfunctional. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Apr 14  Jul 28  Jun 23  Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22  Apr 7
                     2011    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Agree                72      75      83      76      77      78      71
Disagree             23      20      14      19      19      18      23
DK/NA                 5       4       3       5       3       4       6
 
 
16. Who do you think is most to blame - Governor Cuomo, the Republicans in the state legislature, the Democrats in the state legislature?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Cuomo                 6%     7%     7%     3%     4%     7%
Reps/State leg       32      5     57     27     31     33
Dems/State leg       29     61      6     32     33     24
DK/NA                33     26     30     38     31     35
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Cuomo                 6%     5%     6%     6%
Reps/State leg       24     47     28     37
Dems/State leg       31     21     37     24
DK/NA                39     27     30     33
 
 
17. Should there be a cap on how much property taxes can be raised annually in New York State or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  79%    84%    73%    83%    77%    81%
No                   17     14     22     14     20     14
DK/NA                 4      3      5      3      3      5
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Yes                  83%    74%    81%    77%
No                   14     20     16     19
DK/NA                 3      6      3      4
 
TREND: Should there be a cap on how much property taxes can be raised annually in New York State or not?
                     Apr 14  Feb 23  Jan 26
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Yes                  79      80      82
No                   17      15      13
DK/NA                 4       6       5
 
 
18. Do you think state legislators who are practicing lawyers should be required to publicly disclose their clients or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  55%    50%    54%    62%    62%    48%
No                   40     46     41     33     34     45
DK/NA                 6      5      5      5      4      7
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Yes                  50%    56%    61%    58%
No                   43     39     36     37
DK/NA                 7      5      3      5
 
TREND: Do you think state legislators who are practicing lawyers should be required to publicly disclose their clients or not?
                     Apr 14  Jan 27
                     2011    2011
 
Yes                  55      48
No                   40      42
DK/NA                 6       9
 
 
19. Do you support or oppose public financing of campaigns for governor, other statewide offices and the state legislature?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              41%    27%    50%    38%    45%    37%
Oppose               52     66     40     58     49     55
DK/NA                 7      7      9      5      7      8
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Support              37%    46%    39%    38%
Oppose               58     44     53     52
DK/NA                 5     10      7      9
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose public financing of campaigns for governor, other statewide offices and the state legislature?
                     Apr 14  Jan 27
                     2011    2011
 
Support              41      40
Oppose               52      51
DK/NA                 7       9
 
 
20. Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected - the state legislature, a commission that has no connection to the state legislature, or an independent commission with some legislative input?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
State legislature    12%     9%    16%     7%    13%    12%
Commission/No
 connection          51     57     44     60     55     48
Commission/Some
 leg input           29     29     31     27     27     32
DK/NA                 7      6      8      6      6      9
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
State legislature    10%    16%     9%     9%
Commission/No
 connection          58     46     47     61
Commission/Some
 leg input           24     31     36     24
DK/NA                 8      7      7      6
 
 
21. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              56%    34%    70%    60%    52%    61%
Oppose               38     61     25     35     43     34
DK/NA                 5      5      5      5      6      5
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Support              53%    59%    58%    65%
Oppose               41     36     36     30
DK/NA                 6      4      6      5
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Apr 14  Feb 24  Jan 27  Dec 16  Jun 23  May 14  Apr 15
                     2011    2011    2011    2009    2009    2009    2004
 
 Support             56      54      56      47      51      46      37
 Oppose              38      39      37      46      41      46      55
 DK/NA                5       7       7       7       8       8       8
 
 
22. Now that the budget is passed, which of the following issues do you think should be the top priority for the governor and legislature? -Same-sex marriage, property tax cap, ethics reform, or redistricting?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Same sex marriage     6%     4%     9%     6%     6%     7%
Property tax cap     46     60     37     46     45     47
Ethics reform        29     22     31     33     33     25
Redistricting         7      4     10      5      6      8
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   7     10      7      7      6      8
DK/NA                 4      1      5      3      4      4
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Same sex marriage     6%     9%     4%     3%
Property tax cap     47     37     60     48
Ethics reform        29     33     23     32
Redistricting         8      8      5      7
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   7      8      6      9
DK/NA                 3      6      2      2
 
 
23. Is your opinion of New York State's public school teachers favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about them?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            49%    41%    55%    51%    47%    50%
Unfavorable          25     37     17     27     26     25
Hvn't hrd enough     22     20     24     20     24     21
REFUSED               3      3      4      2      2      4
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Favorable            47%    47%    54%    63%    60%
Unfavorable          27     24     25     21     23
Hvn't hrd enough     22     24     18     14     15
REFUSED               3      4      2      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of New York State's public school teachers favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about them?
                     Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011
 
Favorable            49      50%
Unfavorable          25      22
Hvn't hrd enough     22      25
REFUSED               3       3
 
 
24. Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' unions are playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York State's educational system?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Positive             42%    29%    55%    37%    39%    45%
Negative             49     65     34     54     52     46
DK/NA                 9      6     10      9      9      9
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Positive             39%    48%    38%    54%    43%
Negative             51     42     57     40     49
DK/NA                10     11      5      6      7
 
TREND: Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' unions are playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York State's educational system?
                     Apr 14  Feb 24  Apr 15
                     2011    2011    2004
 
Positive             42      39      48
Negative             49      51      35
DK/NA                 9      10      17
 
 
25. Some people say that public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with additional pay - so called merit pay. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Good idea            67%    66%    69%    67%    68%    66%
Bad idea             30     32     28     30     28     31
DK/NA                 3      2      3      4      4      3
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Good idea            63%    74%    61%    54%    65%
Bad idea             33     22     37     43     33
DK/NA                 4      4      2      3      2
 
TREND: Some people say that public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with additional pay - so called merit pay. Do you think this
                     Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011
 
Good idea            67      64
Bad idea             30      33
DK/NA                 3       3
 
 
26. Some people have suggested that firing public school teachers should be made easier. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Good idea            64%    73%    52%    72%    67%    61%
Bad idea             31     23     42     23     29     32
DK/NA                 5      4      6      4      4      6
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Good idea            65%    59%    68%    59%    68%
Bad idea             28     36     28     37     29
DK/NA                 6      5      4      4      4
 
TREND: Some people have suggested that firing public school teachers should be made easier. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011
 
Good idea            64      62
Bad idea             31      33
DK/NA                 5       5
 
 
27. If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based on their performance, or based on seniority?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Seniority            14%    13%    16%    12%    15%    13%
Performance          82     85     77     85     81     83
DK/NA                 4      2      6      3      5      4
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Seniority            13%    14%    14%    28%    15%
Performance          82     82     82     67     83
DK/NA                 5      4      4      5      2
 
TREND: If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based on their performance or based on seniority?
                     Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011
 
Seniority            14      12
Performance          82      85
DK/NA                 4       4
 
 
28. Do you support or oppose rent regulation, which controls the amount of rent a landlord can charge a tenant?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              59%    46%    69%    59%    56%    62%
Oppose               33     47     24     33     36     30
DK/NA                 8      7      7      8      8      8
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Support              52%    68%    57%    63%
Oppose               37     26     35     31
DK/NA                11      6      8      6
 
 
29. As you may know, the state government sometimes requires local governments to adopt programs and regulations, known as state mandates. Do you think there are too many state mandates on local governments, too few state mandates on local governments, or about the right amount?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Too many             47%    63%    33%    52%    56%    39%
Too few               8      5     11      6      6     10
About right          27     22     33     25     23     30
DK/NA                18      9     23     17     15     21
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Too many             56%    37%    47%    49%
Too few               7     12      5      7
About right          23     29     31     27
DK/NA                15     23     17     17
 
 
30. Do you think local government officials should be allowed to negotiate pensions with local public employees or should this be left to state legislators?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Local officials      50%    52%    40%    58%    52%    47%
State legislators    38     36     45     31     39     38
DK/NA                12     11     14     10      9     15
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Local officials      53%    43%    54%    53%
State legislators    36     43     36     38
DK/NA                11     15     10      9