Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 24, 2013

Poll: voters tepid on Pence tax plan

38 percent of state's voters support tax cut

Indianapolis — With just days to go before the deadline for a final budget bill, a new independent poll shows Republican Gov. Mike Pence may not have gotten much mileage for his travels around the state pitching his 10 percent tax cut plan.

The Howey Politics Indiana Poll released Tuesday shows just over 38 percent of Indiana voters support what the first-term governor declared his top legislative priority: a 10 percent reduction in the state’s income tax rate.

The poll showed about 33 percent support a scaled down version of the Pence plan: a 3 percent cut proposed by Senate budget makers, while 17 percent opted for neither.

“It shows that after months of pressing the issue, the new governor has found little political traction,” said Brian Howey, editor of Howey Politics Indiana.

The poll by Bellweather Research, a Republican polling firm in Washington, D.C., was conducted late last week, after the state’s fiscal analysts released the April budget forecast that projected the state would receive an additional $290 million in tax revenues over the next 27 months.

Pence has spent much of his first four months in office pressing for the tax cut. When he found little support for it among the Republican-controlled legislature, he took to the road to ask Hoosiers for their support.

Pence’s press secretary, Kara Brooks, said she’d seen the poll results, adding: “We don’t comment on polls.”

The Howey Politics Indiana Poll comes a week after the Americans for Prosperity Indiana chapter released its own poll that showed 46 percent of respondents favored Pence’s 10 percent tax cut. That poll was taken after the organization, headed by a former Pence aide, spent weeks on an advertising and marketing campaign in support of the Pence plan.

Though the poll questions were worded differently, the Howey poll reflects the public sentiment found last December in a poll done for Ball State University’s Bowen Center for Political Affairs, which found 64 percent favored investing the state’s budget surplus in education and job creation over tax cuts.

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