What do you make of this? A group of advocacy organizations had some questions about raising taxes included in a recent poll and found that Vermonters would support some targeted tax increases to maintain
the affordability of the state's health care programs.
The organizations that sponsored the poll were Vermont NEA
Vermont, B-State Primary Carer Association, Vermont Citizens Campaign for Health Care Security Education Fund and America's Agenda: Health Care for All.
According to their press release, the poll was conducted by Macro on Jan. 17-20. The results are based on responses from 400 Vermonters.
The first question was "In order to keep Catamount
Health, Dr. Dynasaur
and other state health care programs affordable for low-income Vermonters, would you support a temporary state income tax surcharge for those earning more than $500,000 per year?
The results: 56 percent said they would strongly support such a remedy, 21 could somewhat support, 9 percent would somewhat oppose and 8 percent would strongly oppose. Democrats were the strongest supporters and Republicans the weakest supporters -- but more Republicans supported the tax increase than opposed it.
The same question was asked with a different tax option -- adding $1 to the existing tax on cigarettes. There was even stronger support for this option. 70 percent strongly supported, 12 percent somewhat supported, 7 percent somewhat opposed and 9 percent strongly opposed.
Under this option, even a majority of self-identified Republicans strongly agreed (69 percent) and 81 percent of Democrats were strong supporters
One has to wonder if any of the respondents were smokers or earned more than $500,000. It would be easy support imposing a tax on someone else, wouldn't it?
Still, it's an interest bit of information that will no doubt play a role as lawmakers and the Douglas administration wrestle over the budget in the coming weeks.
-- Nancy Remsen