September 19, 2002 - Pennsylvania Voters Back Gambling To Cut Taxes Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Property Tax Is Important In Legislative Races
By a 56 - 35 percent margin Pennsylvania voters back a plan by Ed Rendell, the Democratic candidate for Governor, to put slot machines at race tracks and use the revenues to pay for schools, according to Quinnipiac University's poll released today.

By a similar 56 - 36 percent margin, voters support legalized river boat gaming in Pennsylvania, responding to a question which does not name a candidate or specify exactly where the money would go.

A state legislative candidate's position on property tax reform is the most important issue in this year's election, 17 percent of voters say, while 62 percent say it is an important issue along with other issues.

"By a slim majority, Pennsylvania voters say riverboat gambling and slot machines at race tracks are acceptable ways to raise state revenue, but there is no great enthusiasm for the gambling measures," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"An overwhelming 80 percent of the voters say they will have property tax reform on their mind when they go to vote for a new state legislature this November, with 17 percent saying it's the most important issue in the campaign. That 17 percent doesn't seem like much, but it's bigger than the margin of victory in most elections.

"While most Pennsylvania voters clearly want property tax reform, they are divided over whether it should be done by the current special session - 46 percent - or be delayed until a new governor is elected - 42 percent," Richards added.

A proposal by Gov. Mark Schweiker requiring a voter referendum before local school taxes are increased by a rate higher than the cost of living gets a lukewarm 51 - 40 percent majority.

Republicans back this referendum proposal 58 - 36 percent, while Democrats split 44 - 46 percent on the idea.

Voter support for legalized gambling follows a July 25 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University which showed Pennsylvania voters opposed using state income or sales tax increases to raise more school aid funds as part of a property tax reform plan.

Support for legalized gambling is highest among Philadelphia voters, who back slot machines at race tracks 64 - 26 percent and river boat gambling 63 - 32 percent.

Central Pennsylvania voters are mixed on gambling, backing slot machines 47 - 43 percent and river boat gambling 47 - 45 percent.

From September 10 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,279 Pennsylvania registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the nation as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

16. Do you think a special session of the Pennsylvania legislature to handle the issue of property tax reform should be held before a new governor is elected or should it be delayed until after a new governor takes office?

                     REGISTERED VOTERS..............................
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Held before election 46% 49% 44% 50% 41% 52% 43% Delayed until after 42 41 44 39 46 37 50 DK/NA 12 10 13 12 13 11 7

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Held before election 48% 47% 40% 45% 43% 57% 47% Delayed until after 42 45 44 44 43 30 41 DK/NA 10 8 17 11 14 13 12



17. When it comes to voting for members of the Pennsylvania state legislature in this November's election, how important will property tax reform be in influencing your vote:

A) It is the most important single issue. B) It is important, but so are other issues. C) It won't influence my vote.

                     REGISTERED VOTERS..............................
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


A) Most important issue 17% 16% 18% 18% 16% 18% 19% B) Important as other issues 62 64 61 59 60 63 63 C) Won't influence vote 19 18 20 22 22 17 18 DK/NA 2 2 1 1 2 2 -

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

A) Most important issue 24% 18% 18% 18% 9% 16% 15% B) Important as other issues 58 54 64 60 66 65 64 C) Won't influence vote 15 26 17 20 24 17 18 DK/NA 3 1 1 2 1 2 3



18. Governor Schweiker has proposed that local school boards be required to submit school budget increases to a public vote if the increase would raise property taxes by more than the cost of living. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?

                     REGISTERED VOTERS..............................
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Favor 51% 58% 44% 54% 52% 51% 50% Oppose 40 36 46 36 39 40 44 DK/NA 9 6 10 10 9 9 6

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Favor 54% 29% 54% 57% 54% 44% 57% Oppose 39 61 39 32 41 46 33 DK/NA 8 10 7 11 5 10 10



19. As part of his plan to lower property taxes, Ed Rendell proposes raising more state revenue for schools by allowing legalization of 3,000 slot machines at horse race tracks in Pennsylvania. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?

                     REGISTERED VOTERS..............................
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Favor 56% 47% 64% 56% 59% 53% 64% Oppose 35 44 26 35 32 38 29 DK/NA 9 9 9 8 9 9 7

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Favor 59% 64% 54% 58% 55% 60% 47% Oppose 29 26 38 35 35 31 43 DK/NA 12 10 8 7 11 9 10



20. Do you favor or oppose legalizing riverboat gambling in Pennsylvania to raise more state revenue?

                     REGISTERED VOTERS..............................
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Favor 56% 49% 63% 58% 61% 52% 64% Oppose 36 43 30 35 33 39 30 DK/NA 7 8 6 7 6 9 5

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Favor 61% 63% 55% 59% 59% 61% 47% Oppose 31 32 36 34 32 32 45 DK/NA 8 4 9 7 9 7 8