Support rises for tax repeal; down on public employee ban
LAS VEGAS – A new poll finds enough support among Nevada voters to repeal last year’s record $833 million in state tax increases if the issue makes it to the ballot in November.
The same poll found support decreased for a measure to ban public employees from serving in the Legislature.
The survey, for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, found 47 percent of 625 likely voters for tax repeal and 35 percent against, with 18 percent undecided. The poll had a sampling error margin of 4 percentage points.
It found 36 percent favor and 46 percent oppose banning public employees from serving in Carson City – a shift from 41 percent for and 43 percent against the initiative in March.
George Harris, leader of Nevadans for Sound Government, which led the drive to get both issue on the ballot, called support for the “Ax the Tax” measure “pretty phenomenal.”
Harris faulted the wording of the public employees poll question, saying support would have been greater if voters had been asked if they would ban “government employees” from the Legislature.
The telephone poll, conducted July 20 to Thursday by Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, showed support for the tax repeal initiative increased since March, when the same question found 39 percent in favor and 41 percent opposed.
Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the shift showed a general dislike of taxes.
“It’s always easy to answer ‘no’ to taxes on a survey,” Herzik said, adding that voters frustrated with rising gas prices and property taxes might have taken frustrations out on the legislative tax increases.
Carole Vilardo, president of the Nevada Taxpayers Association, said the poll showed support for the tax repeal was larger than she thought.