April 10, 2003
Tax-and-spend advocates mount 'e-advocacy' to push higher taxes. So far, voters are unswayed: Polls consistently show the public opposes higher taxes
Even after high-profile rallies and marches in Albany and countless print and TV ads, tax-and-spend advocates have acknowledged the effectiveness of The Business Council's "electronic protest" against higher taxes by mounting a similar campaign in favor of higher taxes and more government spending.
At least one recent blast e-mail to a group favoring higher taxes warned tax-hike advocates that lawmakers in Albany have been receiving more letters from business leaders opposed to "job-killing taxes" than they are receiving from pressure groups favoring higher taxes.
The note is an apparent reference to The Council's e-advocacy campaign. As of April 10, The Council's "electronic protest" had attracted 1,434 visitors who had send 7,245 faxes to lawmakers in Albany urging them to reject tax increases.
The union Web page says that what it calls "the Better Choice Plan" calls for "protecting education, preserving quality health care and easing the burden on working families." It urges visitors to tell states lawmakers "to restore the devastating cuts to education, health care and our community."
The public remains skeptical.
Several recent polls of New Yorkers show that the ongoing high-profile efforts of tax-and-spend advocates are not convincing New Yorkers that higher taxes are a good idea.
- A new Marist College poll shows that 55 percent of New Yorkers think New York should close its state budget gap by cutting state jobs (35 percent) or cutting services (20 percent)-while only 38 percent want to close the state budget gap by raising taxes.
- A poll of Central New Yorkers by the Syracuse Post-Standard asked respondents to choose between "tax increases with spending cuts" or "spending cuts only" to close the gap. As the paper noted in a March 30 editorial, nearly half-49.4 percent-preferred "spending cuts only"; 40.4 percent picked tax increases with spending cuts."
December poll by Quinnipiac College showed that New Yorkers
by a significant margin prefer cuts in government to higher
taxes. More than half of New Yorkers polled (52 percent)
said the state should cut services to balance the budget,
the poll showed. In contrast, only 34 percent of responding
New Yorkers said the state should raise taxes.
That poll had asked if respondents preferred "raising taxes to keep state services at their current level or cutting state services to keep taxes at their current level?" The poll did not include questions about reducing taxes or cutting costs by making government more efficient.