Poll: Voters on board with Cuomo's plan

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 18, 2011, 1:12pm


LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - More than two-thirds of New York voters believe their state will become a more business-friendly one this year, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll released Tuesday.

By a 55 percent to 42 percent margin, voters say they want to see the personal income tax increase enacted two years ago on those earning more than $200,000 a year continued, rather than see it expire, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is arguing.

Cuomo, a Democrat who previously served as the state's attorney general, was elected in November.

Also according to the Siena study, voters say they support enacting a 2 percent property tax cap, but are divided on whether that cap should be able to be exceeded by an affirmative vote of 60 percent of voters, or simply a majority vote.

All in all, Tuesday's poll shows there is strong support for 11 of the specific proposals Cuomo included in his State of the State address, which he gave earlier this month.

In fact, four of the proposals have the support of at least 83 percent of all voters and at least 75 percent of every demographic and geographic group of voters, the polling institute said.

"By an 87-10 percent margin, voters support closing the state's $10 billion budget deficit without raising taxes or borrowing," Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.

"By a nearly identical 86-11 percent margin, voters want to see growth in spending limited to no more than the inflation rate. Similarly, by an 84-11 percent margin, voters want legislators to fully disclose any outside income and clients. And as we have seen in previous Siena polls, support for a 2 percent property tax cap is overwhelming, 83-13 percent."

According to the poll, more than three-quarters of New York voters also believe it is likely that rent control and rent stabilization laws will be continued this year.

A majority of voters polled also think some of the governor's advisory panels will generate useful solutions.

A majority does not believe it likely, however, that the new budget passed this year will be kept below the inflation rate or will not include new taxes, the survey showed.

Overall, Cuomo received good marks for his Jan. 5 State of the State message, the Siena Institute said.

"Fifty-eight percent of voters -- including a majority of voters from every party, ideology and region -- rate Cuomo's message in his first State of the State address as excellent or good. Another 23 percent said it was fair, and only 3 percent called it poor," Greenberg said.

He added, "Beyond simply good marks for the speech, the speech and early days of the Cuomo administration have made 46 percent of voters more confidence that New York will recover from the current economic problems, compared to only 3 percent who are now less confident and 46 percent who say there's been no change in their level of confidence. No demographic group tops 10 percent in feeling less confident."

The survey was conducted Jan. 10-13 by telephone calls to 776 New York registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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