Most New Yorkers say they are confident Governor Andrew Cuomo can solve the state’s fiscal crisis, but according to an exclusive NY1/Marist poll, they have far less confidence in the state Legislature. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Taxing the rich is a popular proposition in New York, where almost two-thirds of voters favor a surcharge on those making a million dollars or more, according to an exclusive NY1/Marist poll.
That puts them at odds with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who along with State Senate Republicans, opposes the so-called "millionaire’s tax" that is set to expire at the end of this year.
“Depending on where your income is, I mean clearly something which has the buzzword ‘millionaire’s tax’ sounds like something the other guy should be paying," says Lee Miringoff of Marist Polling Institute.
Indeed, 64 percent of state voters say the millionaires’ tax should be extended, while only 33 percent are opposed.
Interestingly, this appears not to be an issue that pits rich against poor. In fact, the poll finds the higher a person’s income, the more likely the person will support the tax. Then again, the label "millionaire’s tax" is a bit of a misnomer, as it affects those with incomes as low as $200,000.
As Cuomo prepares to tangle with the Legislature on this and other budget issues, it is clear the governor has the public trust on his side.
Fifty-eight percent of polled respondents say they have a great deal or good amount of confidence in Cuomo to solve the state’s fiscal crisis, including a majority of Republicans. Just 38 percent have not very much confidence or no confidence at all.
In comparison with the state Legislature’s numbers, just 26 percent have confidence that legislators can solve the crisis, while 68 percent have little or no confidence.
“There’s really an imbalance right now in public opinion between the governor, who’s held in high esteem and high regard, with a lot of confidence, and the state Legislature, which is just the opposite,” says Miringoff.
The poll is less clear-cut when it comes to budget priorities. While 41 percent say reducing the deficit should be the state’s top priority, 31 percent say cutting taxes and 27 percent say maintaining services and benefits.
One of Cuomo’s first major initiatives is a proposed property tax cap of 2 percent a year. On that issue, 68 percent of New Yorkers are behind him and just 28 percent are opposed.
When asked about pay raises for union workers like teachers and health care workers, 42 percent of voters say they deserve raises only based on merit and performance and 27 percent say they deserve a cost of living increase.
Only 15 percent say there should be no raises and 13 percent say they should receive the same raises they have gotten in the past…
The last choice is a highly unlikely scenario, given Cuomo’s proposed wage freeze for state workers.
The statewide telephone survey of 751 registered voters was conducted Monday through Wednesday of last week. It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.