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Poll: Voters Don’t Like Malloy’s Budget Or Taxes

by | Mar 9, 2011 8:04am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: State Budget, State Capitol

(Updated with video) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy often says he knows he won’t be liked for his budget proposal, but a new Quinnipiac University poll tries to calculate just how much voters don’t like him and his proposals.

The poll found voters disapprove 40 – 35 percent of the job he is doing, with 25 percent undecided. It is the first time Quinnipiac University has polled his job approval, which is much lower than the 70 percent former Gov. M. Jodi Rell had during her first few months in office.

“What explains Malloy’s low approval rating? Only 32 percent approve of his handling of the budget, while 51 percent disapprove,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz said in a press release. “Specifically, they think he is raising taxes too much.  While voters think he is raising taxes too much on the middle class, they think he could raise taxes on the wealthy more.”

Voters disapproved 51-32 percent of the way Malloy is handling the budget. Sixty-six percent say it increases taxes too much, 39 percent say it cuts spending too little, 48 percent say it increases taxes on the wealthy too little, and 68 percent say it increases taxes on the middle class too much.

Roy Occhiogrosso, senior communications advisor for Malloy, said the poll results are hardly surprising.

“With all due respect, this is why the past couple of governors refused to make the tough decisions that needed to be made: because tough decisions often aren’t popular ones,“ he said in a statement. “Gov. Malloy has put forward an honest budget that asks virtually everyone in Connecticut to make sacrifices because he believes that’s the only way we’re going to fix what’s broken and put Connecticut back to work. That people are unhappy with those sacrifices is no surprise.”

The poll found voters believe Malloy is being unfair to them, but about half admit a tax increase is necessary to balance the budget and 55 percent remain optimistic about the next four years with Malloy in the governors office.

Sources have speculated Malloy may have proposed a 6.7 percent income tax rate on the state’s wealthiest residents because the legislature is likely to increase the amount to 7 percent, but Occhiogrosso said that’s not true. He said Malloy benchmarked the income tax against New York’s which is scheduled to go to 6.875 percent on July 1.

“Everyone wants taxes raised on everyone else,” Occhiogrosso said.

The Quinnipiac University poll may have given some cover to lawmakers to increase the sales tax even more than the 6.25 and 6.35 percent proposed. Forty-seven percent of voters approve of increasing the sales tax, while 52 percent disapprove and 2 percent remain undecided. The margin is the closest of all of the tax hikes.

By a narrow 50 – 46 percent margin, voters say a tax hike is necessary to balance the budget.  However voters also say 54 – 18 percent that a tax hike will hurt the state economy and 69 percent say a tax hike would be a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem for their families.

It shouldn’t be surprising voters don’t approve of most of the tax increases, although they support 72-26 percent increases in the cigarette tax and 68-30 percent increases in alcohol taxes.

69 – 29 percent against hiking income taxes on anyone making more than $50,000 a year;

52 – 47 percent against increasing the state sales tax from 6 percent to 6.35 percent;

59 – 40 percent against expanding the sales tax to haircuts, car washes and other services;

70 – 29 percent against charging sales tax on clothing and footwear under $50;

74 – 20 percent against eliminating the $500 property tax credit on the state income tax;

82 – 17 percent against increasing the gas tax 3 cents per gallon.

There’s little agreement on the tax package the poll found, but voters support 50-44 percent that Malloy should lay off state workers if they’re unable to make concessions. Voters in union households disagree 58 – 37 percent.

Voters also support 68 – 27 percent a wage freeze for state workers and support 53 – 35 percent furloughs for state workers.

The poll surveyed 1,693 registered voters from March 1-7. The poll has a 2.4 percent margin of error.

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(7) Archived Comments

posted by: ... | March 9, 2011  8:25am


No surprise here. Nobody loves this budget, but a thin majority gets the point of why taxes need to be apart of our deficit elimination solution.

And as usual, the vice taxes are well liked.

One final comment Christine. I’m sure it is just the Q polls words, but why does everyone forget the proposed sales tax increase is only 6.25%. 6.35% is optional for towns who wish to adopt it and receive that .10 as their own revenue?

posted by: City Hall Watch | March 9, 2011  11:08am

We don’t like Dan the Tax Man Malloy’s budget precisely because it taxes too much and spends too much. There is a once in a generation opportunity to re-make state government into a lean, more efficient and affordable operation. Malloy is squandering that opportunity by increases in spending and launching new entitlements for which we will be paying forever.

Hiking taxes on the middle class by 20 to 35% is no small matter. Many have diminished incomes and are barely hanging on. Many are single parent households. While most of us understand some tax hikes might be necessary, we are not nor were we ever prepared to be first in line as the pocket from which the governor and his excuse makers would propose a solution. We still have the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and others. Malloy still intends to employ nearly all the state employees. There is no recognition that we simply have too many people on the payroll. There is one state employee for every 70 residents. Think about that.

As for the sales tax, it is 6.35% which is higher than Mass. New Haven has built this into its budget and everyone else will too. Thinking otherwise is like laying candy on a table in front of a child and saying you can have this candy if you want it but you don’t have to take it.

These new taxes will put new burdens on small businesses and when possible, people will choose to shop elsewhere. As it is, I top off in Mass every chance I get because gas taxes are lower which means I save about 20 cents a gallon.

And finally, Tax Man Malloy’s $1.5 billion in new and expanded taxes is on top of the $1 billion the braintrusts in Hartford laid on us a couple of years ago. So, $2.5 billion in tax hikes later, is there any expectation this will be enough? No.

posted by: bgenerous | March 9, 2011  11:22am

Poll question #24 for the sales tax was: “Do you approve or disapprove of - raising the sales tax from 6% to 6.3%.”  The summary in the report has the more exact 6.35% rate. In any event, the extra 0.1% in going from 6.25% to 6.35% is not optional for the towns.

I am disappointed in the wording of question regarding the elimination of the “$500 property tax credit.”  That is the maximum credit.  The average credit (2008 tax year) per filer was $246, less than half the maximum credit.

posted by: countvincenzo | March 9, 2011  1:11pm

Ah, yes! “The rich.” And, just who are “the rich?” If I make $50,000 a year, is a persone who makes $75,000 “rich?” Does that persone consider the $100K/year person “rich?” Just who IS “rich,” anyway?

posted by: OutOfOutrage | March 9, 2011  3:08pm


@Joness: I believe the reason that people are skeptical of new taxes is that experiece has shown us (and research has confirmed) that increased taxes do not lead to reductions in deficits.  No matter how you parse the numbers, for each dollar that taxes are increased, spending increases by anywhere from $1.05 to $1.20.

Put another way, do you believe that when times are at their best, we will ever see a $1.5B tax cut? No, these taxes will stay in place, the state will consume them and exceed them very quickly and when the next recession hits, we’ll be talking about shared sacrifice requires a $2B tax increase.

posted by: ... | March 9, 2011  7:37pm


I’m not sure how skeptical people are Matt W, as 55% of CT residents polled said the next 4 years will be better under Malloy.

I’m also curious how Bill Clinton was able to bring about more taxes and some seriously unpopular moves during his 2 terms, and yet brought us into the 21st Century with our first budget surplus in decades? Maybe it is possible to clear a budget deficit with some taxes…

posted by: Tom Burns | March 12, 2011  12:44am

Count Vincenzo—we all know who the rich are—-those making over $1 million a year—-raise their taxes—they aren’t going anywhere—those on Wall St will just devise another plan to get over on the working class—-these people have never worked a hard day in their lives——-Tax them so that those who really work can earn a living wage—you need to read a few history books(you know those things that Rush, Bachman, Palin, beck have never read)—

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