Most Illinois Residents Oppose Tax Hike

Nov 10, 2014

Credit flickr/jmorgan

A hike in Illinois’ income tax rate will begin rolling back at the end of this year, and a majority of Illinois voters are alright with that.

A new poll shows 56-percent of voters oppose making the increase permanent.

Respondents to the survey, which was done before the election by the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University, were asked that question fairly directly.

But before the next question, they were given more context. They were told "the state of Illinois has a budget deficit of 6 billion dollars."

Then they were asked if Illinois should raise taxes, fix its budget by getting rid of unnecessary programs, or by a combination of the two. It's the same question respondents got asked in four previous polls, starting in 2009. Each time, cutting waste was the winner; but fewer people chose it than ever before (43 percent in 2014 versus a high of 57.7 percent in 2011). And this year support for "more revenue” (15.6 percent) and the combo option (32.1 percent) both grew to their highest levels.

"So there is some slow, perhaps dawning of awareness that you can't fund the government with budget cuts alone," says the Institute's Charles Leonard.

Leonard says the  survey also showed less support for the Tea Party, which he says may be another sign the electorate is softening its anti-tax mindset.