Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has warned that rolling back the temporary state income tax increase “will cause the state to have a heart attack,” but that’s just fine with a majority of Illinois residents, a newly-released poll shows.
The poll, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, shows that 56.1 percent of registered voters “oppose” keeping the tax rate at 5 percent, while 32.6 percent say they “strongly oppose” it.
Regardless of your feelings about state taxation, reducing the income tax increase from 5 percent to 3.75 percent on December 31 would blow a massive hole in the state’s budget, said David Yepsen, director of the Simon Institute. But extending or making permanent the ‘temporary’ increase will be difficult for legislators to do because of the strong opposition. So what should a governor and a legislature do: keep an unpopular tax increase, or make draconian cuts?
While a majority do oppose a tax increase extension, views on it appear to be softening. The Spring 2014 poll had opposition to it at 60.3 percent.
The poll also shows support for the tea party is on the decline. In 2010, 41.2 percent of those surveyed said they agree or strongly agree with the tea party. Now, that number is cut nearly in half to 20.7. There’s also a much larger group of people who are altogether indifferent to the tea party. In 2010, 19.4 percent of those polled were, compared to 36.9 percent in 2014.
The poll was conducted via live telephone interviews among 1,006 registered voters from Sept. 23 to Oct. 15.