January 30, 2003 - Sprawl Is Top Threat, New Jersey Voters Say 2-1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Most Voters Back Higher Taxes For Wealthy
By a 62 - 34 percent margin, New Jersey voters agree with Gov. James McGreevey that "over-development is the greatest threat to the quality of life in New Jersey," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Results are consistent among all Republicans, Democrats, independent voters and men and women, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Anti-sprawl feeling ranges from 52 percent among urban voters to 68 percent among voters who live along the Shore.

Looking at other sprawl-related issues:
  • 76 percent say over-development is a major reason for traffic congestion;
  • 63 percent say sprawl is a major reason for crowded schools;
  • 43 percent say sprawl is a major reason for drinking water shortages;
  • 46 percent say sprawl is a major reason for high property taxes;
  • 41 percent say sprawl is a major reason for ugly landscapes.
"Gov. McGreevey and New Jersey voters may not see eye to eye on many issues, but they agree overwhelmingly that development is the biggest threat to the quality of life in the Garden State. Over-development fears are strongest on the Shore and in other areas the state already has identified as most threatened, while urban dwellers are not as concerned," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Voters in those threatened areas strongly agree that a one-year moratorium on new development is needed in their community," Richards added.

By a 53 - 45 percent margin, New Jersey voters feel that McGreevey's proposal to allow local officials to impose a one-year building ban is needed in their communities to control over-development. Urban voters opposed the building ban 53 - 41 percent while Shore voters feel 65 - 34 percent that the ban is needed.

New Jersey voters back 58 - 38 percent a proposal to raise state income taxes for "the wealthy." Democrats back this "tax the rich" plan 73 - 23 percent and independent voters back it 60 - 36 percent. Republicans are opposed 57 - 36

percent. "A tax on the wealthy always has appeal to the vast majority who are not wealthy - and who aren't counting on hitting the lottery any time soon," Richards said.

From January 22 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 929 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

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

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

15. In his State of the State address, Governor James McGreevey said that overdevelopment was the greatest threat to the quality of life in New Jersey. Do you agree or disagree?

                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Agree 62% 59% 60% 67% 61% 64% 64% Disagree 34 37 37 29 37 32 33 DK/NA 3 4 3 3 2 4 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Agree 52% 64% 67% 60% 68% Disagree 37 35 31 36 30 DK/NA 10 2 1 4 2



16. Do you think overdevelopment in New Jersey is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all -- for traffic congestion?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Major reason 76% 74% 73% 81% 76% 75% 79% Minor reason 14 15 16 11 15 13 14 Not a reason at all 7 7 9 6 7 7 5 DK/NA 3 4 2 2 2 4 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Major reason 66% 75% 83% 77% 77% Minor reason 12 15 13 16 12 Not a reason at all 15 7 3 5 7 DK/NA 6 4 1 1 3



17. Do you think overdevelopment in New Jersey is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all -- for crowded schools?

                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Major reason 63% 59% 65% 65% 62% 64% 68% Minor reason 20 25 17 18 21 19 16 Not a reason at all 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 DK/NA 4 3 5 4 4 4 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Major reason 58% 62% 63% 64% 67% Minor reason 19 19 21 23 20 Not a reason at all 16 13 14 11 11 DK/NA 7 5 2 2 2



18. Do you think overdevelopment in New Jersey is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all -- for drinking water shortages?

                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Major reason 43% 34% 45% 48% 41% 46% 43% Minor reason 30 35 29 28 32 29 29 Not a reason at all 19 22 20 16 21 18 22 DK/NA 7 8 6 8 6 7 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Major reason 45% 40% 41% 49% 44% Minor reason 27 34 35 23 32 Not a reason at all 19 21 19 21 16 DK/NA 8 6 5 7 8



19. Do you think overdevelopment in New Jersey is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all -- for high property taxes?

                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Major reason 46% 42% 48% 48% 42% 50% 43% Minor reason 26 26 30 23 30 23 32 Not a reason at all 22 28 15 23 23 21 22 DK/NA 6 4 6 6 5 6 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Major reason 44% 48% 37% 50% 51% Minor reason 27 23 35 27 23 Not a reason at all 21 22 26 19 20 DK/NA 8 8 2 3 6



20. Do you think overdevelopment in New Jersey is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all -- for ugly landscapes?

                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Major reason 41% 36% 42% 46% 44% 38% 43% Minor reason 28 29 28 27 31 26 28 Not a reason at all 23 26 23 21 20 26 23 DK/NA 7 9 8 5 5 9 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Major reason 38% 44% 48% 34% 38% Minor reason 25 29 27 36 25 Not a reason at all 24 20 22 24 28 DK/NA 13 6 4 6 9



21. Governor McGreevey has proposed letting local officials impose a one year ban on new building as part of his plan to fight overdevelopment. In your area, do you think there is a need for a one year ban on new building or not?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Yes 53% 50% 51% 58% 52% 54% 51% No 45 48 47 41 47 44 49 DK/NA 2 2 1 2 1 2 -

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 41% 53% 54% 50% 65% No 53 46 44 50 34 DK/NA 5 2 2 - -



23. To balance the state budget, do you favor or oppose raising the income tax on the wealthy?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Favor 58% 36% 73% 60% 56% 60% 58% Oppose 38 57 23 36 40 35 38 DK/NA 5 7 4 4 4 5 5

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favor 57% 62% 53% 57% 55% Oppose 34 34 44 38 41 DK/NA 9 4 3 5 4