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Poll finds New Jerseyans want property taxes cut before income taxes

The figures lead to an expected outcome: 71 percent of voters with positive feelings about Christie support a tax cut. A majority (55 percent) who feel unfavorable toward Christie oppose the plan.

Household income makes little difference in support for the tax cut: 58 percent who earn more than $150,000 annually and 53 percent who earn less favor the proposal. Gender also makes little difference: 54 percent of men and 50 percent of women say they favor the tax cut.

“While those at higher income benefit more in terms of dollars, that doesn’t seem to make much difference,” Redlawsk said. “Support for the proposed income tax cut remains consistent across all income levels.”

Christie’s income tax cut is less popular among the more educated; only 43 percent of voters with post-graduate education favor the proposal, while more than half of those with less education say they like the idea. Support for the tax cut is slightly higher among whites (54 percent) than among blacks(49 percent). More retired voters (55 percent) favor the savings than full-time workers (52 percent) or part-timers (50 percent). Fewer than half of the unemployed support the proposal.

35 percent of registered voters think a 10 percent tax cut would save them more than $500 per year, but reports suggest that a household would have to earn more than $150,000 in taxable income to save just over $500 in state taxes. Another 32 percent say they are unsure about their savings. Only 22 percent estimated their savings at $200 or less.

Support for the tax cut is greatly influenced by inaccurate perceptions of how much will be saved. Among the 31 percent who think they will save $750 per year or more, nearly two-thirds support the cut. Among those who expect to save less, support runs from 44 to 48 percent.

“Only 14 percent of voters report household incomes over $150,000,” Redlawsk said. “These respondents can expect savings above $500 from the proposed cut. But more than twice as many say they expect to save that much. People really do not have a good sense of how much they pay in state income tax and what a 10 percent savings means. This leads them to overestimate their own gain, which may affect their support for the proposal.”

Voters in households with lower incomes give the lowest estimate of their savings, though they still overestimate badly. About a quarter of those earning under $50,000 believe their tax savings would be more than $200, far higher than the $80 savings likely at $50,000 income. Moreover, 10 percent of those earning less than $50,000 and 15 percent of earners between $50,000 and $100,000 anticipate tax savings of more than $2,000.

“There is a great deal of misinformation about how much can be saved in state income taxes,” Redlawsk said. “Most voters appear to be guessing at best, and are guessing very high. One-third won’t even make a guess.”


Comments (9)
9 Tuesday, 13 March 2012 06:00
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