Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


How Opposed Are Minnesotans To Tax Increases?

Bookmark and Share

With the start of the new legislative session officially underway, the clock has begun to tick on the likely showdown between Governor Tim Pawlenty and the DFL-controlled legislature as to whether tax increases should be a part of the solution to solve the state’s $5 billion budget deficit.

The DFL leadership (e.g. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher) are already on record stating there is a likely need for measures on the ‘revenue side,’ while the Republican Governor and the GOP legislative leadership have been fairly steadfast in their focus on the need to scale down the size of government and cut spending to get the budget under control.

Will public opinion on taxes force the hand of one political party or the other this legislative session? Just how opposed to tax increases are Minnesotans?

Smart Politics examined over three-dozen public opinion polling questions on tax policy conducted of Gopher State residents in recent years and found mixed results, but with the clear majority of polls showing opposition to raising taxes in Minnesota.

According to three closed-question Humphrey Institute / Minnesota Public Radio polls conducted in 2008 (in January, August, and October), Minnesotans deemed taxes the second most important problem facing the state. Taxes (averaging 15 percent) were a distant second behind the economy and jobs (39 percent), but ahead of health care (14 percent), education (12 percent), illegal immigration (6 percent), transportation (5 percent), and global warming (2 percent) across the three surveys.

Minnesotans have opposed state tax increases or supported state tax cuts in approximately 60 percent of public opinion surveys conducted during the past decade on tax policy. Minnesotans have supported tax increases of some sort in approximately 40 percent of surveys conducted during this span.

Support for tax increases has been most resounding around the issue of the state cigarette tax – with nearly 2:1 in support of such measures (in numbers generally reflective of the non-smoking population in the state). For example, a September 2002 Pioneer Press / MPR poll found 62 percent support for a 60-cent-per-pack increase in the state cigarette tax in order to help balance the state budget, with just 31 percent opposed.

Minnesotans also have demonstrated support for targeted income tax increases on the wealthy – by 30+ point margins – both for education programs as well as a means to lower property taxes across the state, according to April and May 2007 polls by SurveyUSA and Minnesota Public Radio respectively.

In general, however, Minnesotans have demonstrated opposition to tax increases and view tax cuts as helpful for the economy and tax increases as harmful by 20+ point margins (Rasmussen, April 2006).

Property taxes are consistently the one tax Minnesotans are most in favor of cutting in polls conducted from 1998 through 2007 by Minnesota Public Radio, followed by the income tax and then the sales tax.

Gopher State residents were also consistently opposed to the recent DFL-backed 10 cents a gallon gas tax hike, although support and opposition to the DFL’s alternative (and higher profile) 5 cents a gallon gas tax increase were mixed when question wordings indicated the revenue would be used specifically for roads and bridges. When the public was asked simply whether or not they were opposed to any increase in the state gas tax, opposition to higher taxes was more than five times stronger (82 percent) than support for them (15 percent) (SurveyUSA, April 2007).

The January 2008 Humphrey Institute / MPR poll also found that Minnesotans trusted the Democratic Party by a 13-point margin over the GOP when it came to the issue of handling taxes. It will be interesting to see if those numbers hold should the DFL legislature and Governor Pawlenty come head-to-head in a new battle over the budget this spring.

Previous post: Will Al Franken Be the Favorite in 2014?
Next post: U.S. Senate Race Ends Up 12 Votes Shy of '62 Gubernatorial Margin of Victory Record

2 Comments


  • And here we go again!We can't take another year like this past.The high cost of gas seriously damaged our economy.I just read a profound book called The Manhattan Project of 2009 by Jeff Wilson. Among the things I learned that fascinated me is that it would cost the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon to charge and drive an electric car. If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota. Why don't we use some of the billions in bail out money to bail us out of our dependence on foreign oil? www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com I say drill our own oil and get started on getting renewable sources of energy set up. Oil is finite, it will run out one day in the not too distant future. We should never allow other countries to have that much power over our economy.

  • “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

    The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

    Political Crumbs

    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


    Home Field Advantage?

    When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting