Support Cools for Sales Tax Extension, Poll Finds
A majority of North Carolinians oppose making permanent a one percentage point increase in the state sales tax that was implemented two years ago, even as the state faces a $3 billion budget shortfall
That is according to the latest Elon University Poll.
More than half of respondents - 53 percent - said they oppose the sales tax hike being made permanent. That figure represents an increase of 12 percentage points since November, when 41 percent of North Carolinians opposed the idea.
However, 57 percent of respondents in the most recent poll said they oppose the elimination of state jobs to address the gap, and a similar percent - 58 percent - are opposed to equal, across-the-board reduction of funding for all state programs.
The poll, conducted Feb. 20-24, surveyed 467 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general, with numbers that include both land lines and cellular phones.
North Carolinians are divided on their support of Gov. Beverly Perdue, with 41 percent disapproving and 40 percent approving of the way she is handing her job as governor. Her favorability rating has increased slightly since the fall.
The economy continues to be the most important issue for North Carolina residents. Although respondents have a more positive view on the direction the state is going than they did five months ago, more than half still believe the state has gotten off on the wrong track.
Nearly 35 percent of respondents expect the state economy to "get better," an increase of almost 10 percentage points from last fall.
One-third of respondents - 33 percent - expect their personal financial situation to get better.
"Though the state is mired in a budget quandary and the economy remains the most important issue on the minds of North Carolinians, citizens are more optimistic about the direction of the state's economy, as well as their personal financial situations, than they have been in some time," said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll.
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