January 24, 2002 - Voters Statewide Split On New York City Commuter Tax, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; State Voters Say Keep City Board Of Education
By a close 49 - 44 percent margin, New York State voters support a commuter tax for suburban residents who work in New York City, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

New York City voters support the commuter tax 64 - 32 percent, while suburban voters oppose it by an equally strong 63 - 34 percent. Upstate voters split 45 - 43 percent on the measure.

On another tax issue, 55 percent of voters say New York State should proceed with a $300 million tax cut, mainly for businesses, scheduled for this year, while 36 percent say postpone these tax cuts, with 9 percent undecided.

"The New York City commuter tax? Few surprises here: New York City voters, who would benefit, want their suburban visitors to pay. Suburban voters obviously say, `No way!' The even split from upstate voters is interesting. One would expect a stronger anti-New York City reaction," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Voters want Albany to worry about the details of budget balance. Don't rock the boat, most of them say. Go ahead with the tax cuts you promised."

Tax cuts for business will help New York's economy, 60 percent of voters say, while 12 percent say tax cuts will hurt the economy and 24 percent say they will make no difference.

New York City's Board of Education should continue running the schools, 56 percent of voters statewide say, while 31 percent say let the mayor run the schools. Upstate voters back the status quo 68 - 13 percent, while New York City voters back the Board of Ed by a narrow 49 - 43 percent, similar to the suburban 48 - 42 percent support.

By a 62 - 25 percent margin, New York voters back Gov. Pataki's proposal to simplify the formulas the state uses to provide funds to local schools, giving local school boards more control over how the money is spent.

But if a change in the state funding formula means less money for their local schools, voter support drops to a very close 47 - 43 percent.

"Gov. Pataki says the way the state distributes school aid is not only unfair; it's incomprehensible. He wants to simplify it and most New Yorkers agree - unless, of course, they lose money in the deal," Carroll said.

The economy is the most important problem facing New York State today, 28 percent of voters say, while 16 percent list education and 13 percent list taxes. Terrorism dropped from 20 percent in a November 15 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University to 6 percent today.

Twelve percent of New York voters are "very satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 58 percent are "somewhat satisfied;" 21 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied," and 8 percent are "very dissatisfied."

From January 14 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 893 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.

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

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

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

                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Very satisfied 12% 8% 17% 9% 19% 7% 10% 12% 7% 16% 8% Smwht satisfied 58 55 53 72 59 56 62 61 48 57 59

Smwht dissatisfied 21 28 18 13 16 25 20 19 28 18 23 Very dissatisfied 8 9 11 3 5 11 8 7 17 9 8

DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 - 2



15. What do you think is the most important problem facing New York State today?
                        Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Crime/Violence 2% 1% 3% 1% 1% 1% 3% 1% 4% 2% 1% Budget/Spending total 6 7 1 7 8 5 6 7 2 6 6 Budget/Spending gen 3 3 1 6 5 2 4 4 2 4 3 Budget deficit 1 1 - 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 Lack of/Late budget 1 2 - - 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 Budget other 1 1 - - 1 1 1 1 - - 1 Taxes total 13 21 3 13 16 9 15 15 1 14 11 Taxes general 12 21 2 13 16 9 13 15 1 13 11 Property tax 1 - 1 - - - 2 - - 1 - Economy total 28 32 25 26 23 31 28 27 37 29 28 Economy general 10 9 9 14 8 11 12 11 5 12 9 Unemployment/jobs 16 21 15 11 15 18 14 15 31 16 17 Cost of living 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 1 - - 1 Economy other 1 1 1 - - 1 1 - 1 1 1 Rebuilding NYC/ Recovering from 9/11 4 3 5 5 4 3 5 5 4 6 3 Assistance to victims of 9/11 1 - - 2 1 - - 1 1 - 1 Welfare 1 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 Poverty/Homelessness 2 2 3 1 1 3 1 1 2 1 2 Housing total 3 - 4 1 1 3 2 1 9 3 3 Housing general 1 - 1 - - 1 1 - 2 1 1 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 - 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 Housing other 1 - 1 - - 1 - - 4 - 1 Racism/Race relations 1 - 2 1 - - 2 - - 2 - Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 2 Seniors issues total 1 2 - 1 2 1 1 2 - 1 2 Education total 16 9 23 17 12 16 19 16 13 13 18 Education general 14 7 21 16 11 15 17 14 11 12 16 Funding education 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 - - 1 Education other 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 2 1 1 Politicians/Campaigns 1 1 - - - 1 1 1 1 1 - Terrorism total 6 4 9 2 6 7 1 4 4 4 6 Terrorism general 5 3 8 2 6 6 1 4 4 3 6 Security/Safety 1 1 1 - - 1 - - - 1 - Other 6 5 6 7 5 7 4 5 6 5 6 DK/NA 7 6 7 9 10 7 5 7 10 6 8



26. As you may know, the New York State legislature has passed 300 million dollars in tax cuts, mainly for businesses. The tax cuts are scheduled to go into effect this year. Do you think the state legislature should postpone the tax cuts or go ahead with the tax cuts as planned?

                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Postpone cuts 36% 38% 40% 28% 24% 47% 38% 36% 38% 35% 37% Go ahead as planned 55 55 50 61 69 43 55 55 48 59 51 DK/NA 9 8 10 11 7 10 7 9 14 6 12

27. Do you think providing tax cuts for businesses would help New York State's economy, hurt New York state's economy, or would it make no difference?

                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Help economy 60% 57% 55% 70% 71% 50% 59% 63% 50% 62% 57% Hurt economy 12 12 14 8 6 17 11 10 14 11 13 No difference 24 26 26 18 21 27 25 23 29 25 23 DK/NA 4 5 5 3 1 6 5 4 7 1 7

28. Do you think that New York State suburban residents who work in New York City should pay a New York City income tax to help cover the cost of city services or not?
                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Yes 49% 45% 64% 34% 50% 54% 42% 46% 62% 52% 47% No 44 43 32 63 44 40 49 45 35 43 44 DK/NA 7 12 4 4 7 6 9 9 3 5 9

29. Do you favor or oppose changing state school funding formulas so local school boards have more control over how state money is spent?

                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Favor 62% 67% 62% 54% 60% 60% 67% 60% 74% 64% 60% Oppose 25 23 22 30 25 27 20 25 14 24 25 DK/NA 14 10 16 16 15 13 13 15 12 13 14

30. (If "favor" Q29 ask:) Suppose this meant that your local public schools would receive less state money. Would you favor or oppose changing state school funding formulas so local school boards have more control over how state money is spent?

                       FAVOR CHANGING SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULAS Q29........... 
                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Favor 47% 51% 39% 52% 53% 42% 49% 51% 29% 54% 41% Oppose 43 40 50 39 40 48 42 41 64 34 52 DK/NA 9 8 11 10 7 10 9 8 7 12 7

31. Do you think the running of New York City's public schools should remain under the Board of Education or should it be placed under the Mayor?

                       Tot  UPS  NYC  Sub  Rep  Dem  Ind  Wht  Blk  Men  Wom


Remain under BOE 56% 68% 49% 48% 56% 56% 56% 56% 68% 52% 60% Placed under Mayor 31 13 43 42 32 31 31 29 23 35 28 DK/NA 13 19 7 11 12 13 13 15 9 13 12