A statewide poll released today found voters are most concerned about education and supportive — at least right now — of new taxes on carbon pollution and capital gains pushed by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Forty-two percent identified education as the most important issue for the Legislature to focus on in 2015 followed by the economy, according to the survey conducted by Seattle pollster Stuart Elway.
Seventy-one percent found the governor’s carbon tax proposal either favorable or acceptable, according to the survey
And 57 percent felt the same way about Inslee’s plan for a 7 percent capital gains tax on profits from the sale of stocks and bonds that exceed $25,000 for an individual.
His idea of increasing the cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack was endorsed by 77 percent and taxing bottled water had the backing of 56 percent.
Overall, however, voters are evenly divided on the need for any new taxes; 48 percent found the idea acceptable and 49 percent were opposed in the poll.
Of the findings, Elway wrote in his newsletter:
“Skeptics will point out that support for these taxes diminishes with the likelihood that these respondents will actually be paying them. Even so, the high levels of initial acceptance indicate that the Governor has seized the initiative. It is usually not hard to win an argument against taxes, and the debate has not begun. But opponents of these taxes are starting at a disadvantage.”
The poll of 502 registered voters was conducted Dec. 27-30, 2014.