Pennsylvanians Credit Legislature More than Governor for Preventing Tax Increases

August 30, 2007

Taxpayers and voters sometimes wonder whom to hold accountable for a state’s budget and tax problems: legislators or the governor? A recent poll by Quinnipiac University sheds some light on Pennsylvanians’ approval of their elected officials’ performance on budget and tax issues. From the Philapdlphia Inquirer:

Pennsylvania voters are more likely to blame the legislature than Gov. Rendell for partisan fighting that left some major issues unresolved and a budget stalemate that prompted the furlough of about 24,000 state employees. But the legislature gets more credit for keeping new taxes out of the budget, according to a poll released yesterday.

Also, while 53 percent of the state’s voters approve of Rendell’s overall performance, a larger majority says the state’s tax situation has remained the same or worsened since the Democrat took office in 2003, the poll by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut shows.

. . .

State taxes were cited most frequently as Pennsylvania’s most important problem, followed by the economy, crime, education, health care and mass transportation, according to the telephone survey of 1,160 voters conducted from Aug. 14 through Monday.

Respondents gave the legislature more credit than Rendell—42 percent to 34 percent—for keeping new taxes out of the budget. Fifty-eight percent said the state’s tax situation was about the same now as when Rendell took office, while 28 percent said it had worsened.

View poll results. View more Quinnipiac University polls on Pennsylvania.

Read the Tax Foundation’s 2007 Annual Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Taxes and Wealth.

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