April 21, 2015 - New Jersey Voters Go 50 - 47 Percent For Gas Tax Hike, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support Almost 2-1 For Millionaires' Tax To Pay Pensions Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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New Jersey voters tip 50 - 47 percent toward increasing the gas tax to finance road improvements and mass transit, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 62 - 37 percent opposition in a January 21 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and it is the first time ever that support for a gas tax hike edges past opposition.

Support is 63 - 35 percent among Democrats with opposition at 56 - 43 percent among Republicans and 51 - 46 percent among independent voters. There is almost no gender gap, but age gaps open: Voters 18 to 34 years old are divided 47 - 52 percent and voters 35 to 54 years old are divided 48 - 50 percent. Voters over 55 years old back a gas tax hike 56 - 42 percent.

A total of 92 percent of New Jersey voters say the state's budget problems are "very serious" or "somewhat serious."

"All the talk of fiscal doom seems to have sunk in. The perennial no-no of New Jersey politics - a gasoline tax hike - is reversed by a margin thinner than the yellow line on the highway," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll.

"Precisely 50 percent of voters, who have been hearing politicians warn for months that the Garden State is running out of money for road repairs and transit improvements, now say they'd pay more at the pump.

"No one needs to convince New Jerseyans that the state has big budget problems. At just about every public event, Gov. Christopher Christie has been touting his complicated plan to attack the pension problem. Today's poll results suggest that people are listening."

"Solutions? Voters like a millionaire's tax, which Gov. Christie has said he'd veto. On the broader idea of balancing the state budget, 53 percent would prefer to cut services, while 34 percent would rather raise taxes," Carroll added.

New Jersey voters support 64 - 33 percent raising taxes on people who make more than $1 million to help fund public employee pensions. Among those opposed to the so-called "Millionaires' Tax," 30 percent who shift to support the tax if public employees increased their contributions to the pension funds.

The state has an obligation to fix public employee pensions, even if it means raising taxes, voters say 51 - 40 percent.

Public employees should use a 401 (k) type of retirement plan, instead of a set pension, voters say 55 - 35 percent. Support for the shift to a 401 (k) type plan is 72 - 17 percent among Republicans and 60 - 29 percent among independent voters. Democrats support traditional public employee pensions by a slim 49 - 42 percent.

A total of 89 percent of New Jersey voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" to repair the existing rail tunnel between the Garden State and Manhattan.

A total of 68 percent of voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" to add a second rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan.

"The deterioration of the rail tunnel to New York - requiring a multi-multi-million dollar fix - is a big problem, especially for the 11 percent of New Jersey voters who commute to New York," Carroll said.

From April 9 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,428 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

44. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Excellent             1%     2%     -      -      1%     -      -      1%     1%
Good                 28     45     23     24     29     28     35     34     22
Not so good          47     41     52     49     45     48     42     43     53
Poor                 23     11     24     25     23     23     22     22     23
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      1      1      1      -      2
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? (*Low also 7% Feb 2009)
                                                             EXCLNT+GOOD...
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 21  Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Oct 18  Aug 12
                     2015    2015    2014    2014    2014    2001    2009*
 
Excellent             1       1       1       1       -       3       -
Good                 28      37      35      33      35      54       7
Not so good          47      43      44      46      47      37      46
Poor                 23      19      19      19      16       5      45
DK/NA                 1       1       2       1       2       2       1
 
 
45. Do you think New Jersey's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Better               16%    22%    12%    16%    17%    15%    19%    16%    14%
Worse                23     19     24     23     21     24     26     21     22
The same             59     58     61     58     61     57     45     62     62
DK/NA                 3      1      3      3      2      4     10      1      2
 
TREND: Do you think New Jersey's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                             BETTER........
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 21  Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Mar 11
                     2015    2015    2014    2014    2014    2013    2009
 
Better               16      23      20      20      19      33       3
Worse                23      19      20      23      17      14      61
The same             59      57      59      56      61      51      35
DK/NA                 3       1       2       1       3       2       2
 
 
46. How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are; very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very serious         53%    45%    56%    55%    56%    50%    42%    54%    56%
Smwht serious        39     46     36     37     36     40     47     37     38
Not too serious       4      6      2      4      5      3      5      4      3
Not at all serious    1      2      2      1      1      2      3      2      -
DK/NA                 4      2      4      4      3      5      4      4      3
 
TREND: How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are; very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 21  Apr 10  Apr 21  Feb 10  Nov 11  Nov 11  Dec 11
                     2015    2014    2011    2011    2010    2010    2002
 
Very serious         53      43      79      82      86      86      35
Somewhat serious     39      44      18      15      13      13      51
Not too serious       4       8       1       2       -       -      10
Not at all serious    1       1       1       1       -       -       1
DK/NA                 4       3       1       1       1       1       3
 
 
47. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Raising taxes        34%    11%    55%    30%    36%    32%    46%    31%    33%
Cutting services     53     82     29     59     55     51     47     56     52
DK/NA                13      7     15     11      8     17      7     13     14
 
TREND: To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?
                                                             RAISE TAXES...
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 21  Apr 10  Apr 21  Feb 10  Nov 11  Apr 21  Nov 24
                     2015    2014    2011    2011    2010    2015    2009
                                                                     
Raising taxes        34      32      32      26      26      34      23
Cutting services     53      57      59      64      62      53      68
DK/NA                13      11       9       9      13      13       9
 
 
48. Would you support or oppose raising taxes on people who earn more than one million dollars to help fund public employee pensions?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              64%    34%    86%    62%    58%    69%    72%    66%    63%
Oppose               33     64     13     35     39     29     28     33     34
DK/NA                 2      2      1      3      2      2      -      2      3
 
 
48A. (If oppose q48) How about if public employees also increased their contributions to their pension funds? Would you support or oppose raising taxes on people who earn more than one million dollars to help fund public employee pensions?
                     OPPOSE RAISING TAXES Q48
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Support              30%    27%    34%
Oppose               67     71     61
DK/NA                 3      2      5
 
 
49. Do you believe the state of New Jersey has an obligation to fix public employee pensions, even if it means raising taxes, or don't you think so?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes/Obligation       51%    32%    68%    49%    53%    49%    55%    49%    53%
No                   40     58     24     44     41     39     37     42     38
DK/NA                 9     10      9      8      7     12      7      9      9
 
 
50. Do you think public employees should continue to receive a set pension when they retire or do you think public employees should use a 401(k) type plan?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Set pension          35%    17%    49%    29%    34%    35%    34%    35%    36%
401(k) type plan     55     72     42     60     60     52     56     60     53
DK/NA                10     11      9     11      7     13     10      5     11
 
 
51. To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              50%    43%    63%    46%    51%    50%    47%    48%    56%
Oppose               47     56     35     51     46     48     52     50     42
DK/NA                 2      1      3      2      3      2      2      2      2
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Support              51%    55%    50%    49%    44%    56%    50%
Oppose               46     43     50     48     53     42     48
DK/NA                 3      2      -      3      3      2      2
 
TREND: To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax?
                                                             SUPPORT.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 21  Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 11  Nov 10  Apr 21  Dec 11
                     2015    2015    2014    2014    2010    2015    2007
                                                                     
Support              50      37      39      36      35      50      24
Oppose               47      62      58      63      63      47      74
DK/NA                 2       2       3       1       2       2       2
 
 
52. There is currently one rail tunnel carrying Amtrak and NJ Transit trains between New Jersey and Manhattan. How important do you think it is to repair the existing rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very important       65%    53%    73%    65%    63%    67%    66%    62%    68%
Somewhat important   24     34     19     23     25     24     24     27     23
Not so important      4      5      3      4      4      4      8      3      2
Not important at all  4      4      3      4      6      2      1      4      4
DK/NA                 3      3      3      3      2      3      1      4      3
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Very important       79%    64%    64%    60%    62%    81%    63%
Somewhat important   12     28     25     24     29     16     26
Not so important      3      4      8      3      2      2      4
Not important at all  2      3      2      9      2      1      4
DK/NA                 3      2      1      4      5      -      3
 
TREND: There is currently one rail tunnel carrying Amtrak and NJ Transit trains between New Jersey and Manhattan. How important do you think it is to repair the existing rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                     Apr 21  Jan 21
                     2015    2015
 
Very important       65      63
Somewhat important   24      29
Not so important      4       4
Not important at all  4       2
DK/NA                 3       2
 
 
53. How important do you think it is to add a second rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very important       35%    21%    43%    36%    38%    32%    42%    35%    34%
Somewhat important   33     40     31     31     31     35     32     35     32
Not so important     17     25     15     15     16     18     20     19     15
Not important at all 10     10      6     12     11      9      4      9     11
DK/NA                 5      5      5      5      4      6      2      3      8
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Very important       50%    35%    31%    30%    31%    51%    33%
Somewhat important   32     33     37     29     35     26     34
Not so important      9     19     19     18     18     12     18
Not important at all  6      8      9     16      9     10     10
DK/NA                 3      5      4      7      7      -      6
 
TREND: How important do you think it is to add a second rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                     Apr 21  Jan 21
                     2015    2015
 
Very important       35      32
Somewhat important   33      30
Not so important     17      22
Not important at all 10      10
DK/NA                 5       5
 
 
54. Do you commute to New York City for work or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  11%    10%    11%    12%    16%     7%    12%    17%     5%
No                   89     90     89     88     84     93     88     83     95
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  25%    13%     7%     3%     6%
No                   75     87     93     97     94
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: Do you commute to New York City for work or not?
                     Apr 21  Jan 21  Dec 10  Nov 17  Dec 21  Nov 10
                     2015    2015    2014    2011    2010    2010
 
Yes                  11       9      11      10      11      11
No                   89      91      89      89      89      89
DK/NA                 -       -       -       -       -       -