Poll: New Yorkers have no taste for obesity tax, say tax the rich instead
By KENNETH LOVETT
Daily News Albany Bureau Chief
Wednesday, December 24th 2008, 12:57 PM
Dave: Skip 'optional' stuff & tax hikes won't cost you a dime
ALBANY - Tax the rich, not the soda!
New Yorkers overwhelmingly oppose Gov. Paterson's so-called obesity tax on soda and other non-nutritional drinks, a new poll shows.
The Quinnipiac University poll found that 60% of those surveyed oppose the proposed 18% tax, with just 37% supporting it.
Even those who prefer diet soft drinks, which would not be subject to the tax, say it is all wet by a 58% to 39% margin, the poll found.
The fierce opposition runs across the political spectrum.
"Voters aren't swallowing the proposal to tax non-diet soft drinks," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said Wednesday when releasing poll results.
Voters appear more amenable to taxing millionaires (84% to 13%)and items such as cigarettes (73% to 26%) and alcohol (67% to 32%).
By a 53% to 40% margin, New Yorkers said they do not believe the state budget crisis is serious enough to raise taxes.
If taxes must be raised, 44% say the state should hike auto registration fees, 31% support raising sales taxes,and 14% back hiking the income tax.
Nearly 80% oppose hiking gasoline taxes. Paterson proposed lifting a state tax cap on gasoline.
Still, by a 53% to 36% margin, New Yorkers would rather cut services than raise taxes.
When it comes to service cuts, 65% said they support reducing economic development aid; just 10% support cutting education or health care.
For Paterson, the good news is that voters agree with him by a whopping 88% to 8% margin that there is a budget crisis. The bad news is that they disapprove of the way he is handling it by a 46% to 40% margin.
Paterson last week proposed a budget that includes $9.5 billion in cuts, including large reductions in education and health care spending.
He also proposed 137 new fees and taxes totaling $4.1 billion.
Paterson's approval rating has dipped to 53%, down from a high of 64% in August.
Just under 70% are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the way things are going in New York.
Asked the most important issues facing the state, 43% said the economy, 19% taxes, and 17% the budget.