Governor-elect Mike Pence wants to cut taxes but the new WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey shows that a big majority of taxpayers would rather see the money spent on other priorities.
The pledge to cut state income taxes by 10 percent was a staple of the Mike Pence campaign. But the WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey, a statewide poll conducted by Princeton Research, shows that 64 percent of voters, almost two-thirds, would rather see the money go to education and workforce training. Just 31 percent support the idea of a tax cut.
Of course, Mike Pence believes his tax cut proposal would also help the economy. During the campaign he said, “The rate would be reduced by 5 percent in fiscal year 2014 and 5 percent in fiscal year 2015. This tax cut will put $500 million directly back into Indiana’s economy.”
And immediately after the election he promised to go ahead with his plan. “And the short answer to the question of are we going to seek what we campaigned on is, ‘yes’,” Pence said on the morning after his victory.
Behind the initial numbers in the WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey is the finding that only the richest Hoosiers support the idea. “They tend to favor it,” says Ball State political scientist Ray Scheele. “About half woud like to see their taxes cut at that level, $75,000 household income and above.”
“When it’s two-to-one that people would rather invest the money than get the taxes back, 10 percent back in taxes,” says Ball State political scientist Joe Losco, “I mean, it doesn’t give him a lot of room there.”
Leaders in the General Assembly are already skeptical about another tax cut.
“Any tax cut has to be sustainable,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma in November. “Not just in a two year budget period but sustainable in the long haul.”
Of course, taxpayers also like politicians to keep their promises. But here’s something to remember: in the first year after he was elected, Mitch Daniels wanted a tax hike passed and the legislature said no.
(The Hoosier Survey was conducted for WISH-TV and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs by Princeton Research Associates International (PSRAI) from November 12 – 24, 2012. PSRAI surveyed 602 Hoosier adults by landline and cell phone, chosen randomly, yielding a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.5 percent. In addition to providing statewide results, some findings also were broken down by region. )
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