Public Opinion Poll

Only 13 Percent of California Voters Support Tax Increases, Poll Finds

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A majority of California’s registered voters favor spending reductions to address the state budget deficit, and only 13 percent support tax increases, according to a Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) poll released January 18.

Asked how the budget deficit should be closed, 51 percent of registered voters selected “spending cuts to government services,” 35 percent chose “tapping the state’s rainy-day reserve fund,” 17 percent chose “borrowing from special funds,” 14 percent expressed no opinion, and 13 percent said “raising taxes.”

The figures add up to more than 100 percent because some respondents selected more than one option, the pollster said.

Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies  (IGS) Poll“The survey suggests little appetite for tax increases to address the deficit, but a challenge for Governor Newsom and the Legislature is that while spending cuts, in principle, are relatively popular, that support would likely dissipate when it comes time to making cuts to specific programs and services,” IGS Co-Director Eric Schickler said.

Support for tax increases was lowest among black voters (8 percent) and Latinos (9 percent), and slightly higher among Asian/Pacific Islander voters (15 percent) and whites (16 percent).

Support for spending cuts was highest among white voters (54 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islander voters (53 percent) and fell below 50 percent for Latinos (48 percent) and black voters (36 percent).

The poll of 8,199 California registered voters was administered online January 4 through January 8 in English and Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus approximately 1.5 percentage points, the pollster said.

Funding for the poll was provided in part by the Los Angeles Times.