NEW YORK (TIP): New York state voters from every region and from all income levels support allowing Mayorelect Bill de Blasio to raise taxes on those earning $500,000 or more to pay for expanded education programs, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University, a news report says. Mr. de Blasio’s tax hike receives broad support from New Yorkers statewide, 63% to 32%. Even New Yorkers who earn more than $100,000 a year say they back the idea, 59% to 37%. Voters in every region support the idea, 68% to 30% in New York City, 55% to 42% in the suburbs and 64% to 29% upstate. Republicans were the only group to oppose the plan, 58% to 39%. “New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s campaign issue, raising taxes on the well-to-do in the city to pay for improvements in education, wins solid approval in every corner of the state, except among Republicans. And Republican State Senators still have a lot to say about what happens in Albany,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
After a spate of corruption arrests, the state Legislature continues its unpopular streak among New York voters, 34% to 53%. But voters still approve of their individual Assembly and state Senate members, 48% and 56% respectively. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver scores low approval ratings (26% to 44%), while voters say they don’t know enough about either Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos (50%) and Jeff Klein (56%) to have an opinion. Creating jobs and reducing taxes are the top two priorities identified by voters for the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year. Only 18% say funding public schools should be the top priority. “How much voter anger do legislators face if the de Blasio tax hike never sees the light of day?” Mr. Carroll said. New Yorkers are still split on hyrdrofracking, with 44% in favor of the controversial drilling method and 46% opposed. Thirty-nine percent say they feel Mr. Cuomo is “dragging his feet” on the issue. Voters say they believe corruption is a “very serious” problem in New York (41%) but oppose one of the more popular solutions to that problem, public financing of elections (52%). A majority (51%) think Mr. Cuomo has the primary responsibility for cleaning up state government-but only 2% think he’s done an “excellent” job so far (most say he’s been “good” on cleaning up corruption). On the Moreland Commission, 55% of voters say they didn’t know enough about the governor’s anti-corruption panel to have an opinion.