May 26, 1999 - Suburban Commuters Should Pay New York City Tax, Upstate And City Voters Tell Quinnipiac College Poll; No Pay For Legislators Or Governor Until Budget Passes
By a 51 - 43 percent margin, New York State voters say in-state suburban residents who work in New York City should pay a city income tax, according to a Quinnipiac College poll released today.

New York City voters support the commuter tax 71 - 26 percent, while suburban voters oppose it 30 - 67 percent. The swing vote is from upstate, where voters support the commuter tax 48 - 42 percent.

New Jersey and Connecticut voters also should pay the commuter tax, New York State voters say 54 - 42 percent. City voters support the out-of-state commuter tax 70 - 27 percent, while upstate voters back it 50 - 44 percent.

Suburban voters soften their opposition to 41 - 56 percent when it comes to taxing out of state residents.

"If you commute to work in New York City, then leave some of your paycheck behind, city voters tell us overwhelmingly. It's no surprise how suburban voters feel, but their zeal for tax repeal dwindles when they're asked about out-of-state commuters," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"What's surprising is that upstate voters, the objective third party in this dispute, side with the city on this one. It's not overwhelming support, but when was the last time upstaters sided with the city."

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's strong position on commuter taxes has had little impact on his potential Senate candidacy among suburban voters: 9 percent say they are more likely to vote for him because of his fight for the commuter tax, while 22 percent say they are less likely and 68 percent say it will have no impact on how they vote.

In a possible race against First Lady Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate, suburban voters back Giuliani 55 - 37 percent. In an April 22 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College, Giuliani was ahead of Mrs. Clinton 47 - 44 percent -- a statistical tie -- in the suburbs. Late Budget

The fact that the Governor and State Legislature have once again missed the April 1 deadline for enacting a New York State budget is a "very serious problem," according to 49 percent of voters, while 36 percent say it is "somewhat serious" and 13 percent say it is "not very serious" or "not a problem at all."

Asked who's to blame, 8 percent of voters blame Gov. George Pataki, while 22 percent blame state legislators and 66 percent blame both.

By a 74 - 20 percent margin, voters say it's a good idea to withhold lawmakers' pay until a budget is enacted.

And by a 78 - 18 percent margin, voters say it would be a good idea to freeze Gov. Pataki's paycheck as well.

"New Yorkers want their elected leaders to get their act together and enact a state budget. The Governor blames the Legislature; the Legislature blames the Governor; the voters blame everyone," Carroll said.

"Voters think it's a good idea that the legislators are not getting paid and it would be even better if the Governor didn't get paid, either."

From May 18 - 23, Quinnipiac College surveyed 807 New York State registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The Quinnipiac College Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu

14. New York State has not had a budget since April first, the start of the fiscal year. Do you think that the state's failure to pass a budget is a very serious problem, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not a problem at all?

                                                                          Jul 22
                     Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   1997


Very serious 49% 60% 40% 41% 48% 53% 45% 45% 51% 57%

Smwht serious 36 31 39 41 40 32 38 36 37 31

Not very serious 9 5 12 12 7 9 11 12 7 7

Not a problem at all 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 6 3 4

DK/NA 2 1 4 2 1 3 2 2 2 1



15. Who do you think is most responsible for the state's failure to pass a budget - Governor Pataki, the state legislature, or are they both equally to blame?

                                                                          Jul 22
                     Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   1997


Gov. Pataki 8% 6% 12% 5% 8% 11% 6% 7% 8% 9%

State legislature 22 27 14 25 31 12 27 30 17 20

Both equally 66 63 71 66 57 74 65 60 71 68

DK/NA 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 3 4 4



16. (If state legislature or both) Is it mainly the Republicans in the state legislature or the Democrats, who are more responsible for the failure to pass a budget?

                     Blame State Legislature or Both ...........................
                                                                          Jul 22
                     Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   1997


Republicans 22% 13% 33% 24% 10% 40% 14% 20% 24% 18%

Democrats 18 17 17 19 33 8 18 24 14 19

BOTH(VOL) 28 31 26 26 24 25 33 33 24 35

DK/NA 32 38 24 31 33 27 35 23 38 28



17. Under New York State law, if a new budget is not adopted by the State Legislature and the Governor by the April first deadline, state legislators do not receive pay until a budget is adopted. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                        Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Good idea 74% 82% 62% 78% 81% 67% 77% 75% 74%

Bad idea 20 13 31 18 15 26 19 21 20

DK/NA 5 4 7 4 4 7 4 4 6



18. Some people have suggested that if a new budget is not adopted by the April first deadline, the Governor should not receive pay until a budget is adopted. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                        Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom 


Good idea 78% 80% 77% 74% 78% 79% 75% 76% 79%

Bad idea 18 15 18 23 18 15 21 21 16

DK/NA 4 4 6 3 3 5 4 3 5



19. 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 costs of city services, or not?

                        Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom 


Yes/Should pay 51% 48% 71% 30% 45% 58% 47% 53% 48%

No/Should not pay 43 42 26 67 50 36 46 42 44

DK/NA 6 10 4 2 5 6 8 4 7



20. Do you think that Connecticut and New Jersey suburban residents who work in New York City should pay a New York City income tax to help cover the costs of city services, or not?

                        Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom 


Yes/Should pay 54% 50% 70% 41% 49% 60% 52% 57% 52%

No/Should not pay 42 44 27 56 48 36 43 40 43

DK/NA 4 6 2 3 3 4 5 3 5



21. Rudolph Giuliani favors a New York City income tax on suburban residents who work in New York City to help cover the costs of city services. Does Giuliani's position on this issue make you more likely to vote for him for Senate, less likely to vote for him, or doesn't it affect your vote?

                        Tot   Ups   NYC   Sub   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom 


More likely 16% 16% 20% 9% 20% 15% 14% 18% 14%

Less likely 18 15 18 22 16 17 19 16 19

No effect 65 67 60 68 61 66 68 65 65

DK/NA 2 3 1 1 3 3 - 2 2