F&M Poll: Education Funding, Property Taxes are Top Priorities

pa-state-capitol-b175d9a07740ecf3In Harrisburg, lawmakers are currently discussing a wide variety of issues as budget talks heat up.

As a result, Franklin and Marshall decided to survey PA residents to find out what their top priorities are.

Coming in first was “increasing state funding for public education” which narrowly edged out “reforming the state’s tax system to reduce local property taxes” by a 27% to 25% margin.

The ranking of the other top priorities was as follows: “passing a plan that deals with the state’s pension obligations” (15%); “reduce overall state spending” (15%); “increasing the state’s minimum wage” (8%); and “privatizing the liquor stores” (1%).

There was quite the partisan divide, however, in the responses.

For example, Democrats preferred tackling education spending (37%D to 17%R) and the minimum wage (16%D to 1%R) much more than their Republican counterparts.

On the other hand, Republicans were far more concerned with tax reform (29%R to 20%D), cutting spending (23%R to 9%D), and pension reform (22%R to 10%D) than were Democrats.

There was hardly any difference when it came to liquor privatization (2%R to 1%D).

At first glance, this ranking of priorities would seem to be self-defeating as schools are funded by property taxes.

77% of respondents, however, favor tax reform with a 48% plurality saying the system “should be completely rebuilt.” (F&M professor and pollster Terry Madonna recently argued for just such changes).

When asked about Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal to increase income taxes to reduce property taxes, 59% of Pennsylvanians agree. This includes a majority of Democrats (69%), Republicans (52%) and Independents (51%).

Finally, voters favor increasing the minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $10.10/hr by a 66% to 31% margin.

This poll surveyed 597 registered voters in Pennsylvania and was conducted from March 17th to March 23rd. The margin of error is +/- 4.2%.

4 Responses

  1. It’s how Democrats get a large amount of their votes. “Vote for me! I will give you (insert things other people will pay for)!”. Vomit

  2. My daughter is a college graduate with a degree in the medical field, currently making $11/hour and you want me to accept that a high school drop-out is entitled to receive virtually the same pay!! Outrageous! I agree with earning the paid sick and leave time. Let that be the wage increase.

  3. Screw a minimum wage increase! We need state laws guaranteeing paid sick time and leave for pregnant and new mothers!

    If the tax laws are written so that school funding comes from property tax, lets change the law first and then talk about percentages and new taxes. Seems like a useless discussion right now.

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