PUBLIC OPINION POLL:
Voters Express Support for Taxes That Would Hit Others

“Tax that fellow behind the tree” is the general attitude of Californians, according to a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The poll found that likely voters say they will support taxes on the November ballot, if they don’t have to pay the tax.

Overwhelmingly, likely voters said they would favor extending personal income taxes on taxpayers earning more than $250,000 per year to fund education and healthcare (58 percent), and would approve a tax increase on cigarettes to fund healthcare (67 percent). (Similar results have been reported by PPIC before past elections. Three months before an election in 2012, PPIC found that 67 percent of voters favored passage of Proposition 29, which would have increased cigarette taxes by $1 per pack. However, the measure was rejected by voters on election day.)

When respondents were asked in the recent poll if they would support broad-based taxes, support fell flat. Likely voters said they oppose higher local sales taxes to fund transportation (58 percent) and new fees on vehicles and higher gas taxes to fund transportation infrastructure (59 percent). 

The poll also found that likely voters largely support legalizing recreational marijuana (60 percent), and that 54 percent of respondents have used marijuana.

The poll received national attention for reporting that in California’s June primary, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are in a statistical tie (44 percent to 46 percent). 

June 1, 2016

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