According to the Commonwealth Poll conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Virginians strongly support policies that would or will provide tax relief. Fifty-eight percent of those polled supported Youngkin’s proposal to suspend the state motor vehicle fuel tax for three months. One respondent out of two is in favor of the elimination of the State’s share of the tax on food products.
“Poll responses suggest what I’ve always said: the people are always ahead of the leaders,” said L. Douglas Wilder, who served as Virginia’s 66th governor. “The grocery tax proposal is very responsive; the gasoline tax suspension and/or allowance are welcomed, which can be seen as a direct response to rising inflation. The majority of Democrats and Independents favor the option of using excess tax revenue for government programs, while Republicans favor the $250 refund option; while black respondents prefer the $250 discount and white respondents prefer government programs.
An overwhelming 79% of respondents support efforts by the Youngkin administration to fund historically black colleges and universities. Fifty-five percent support a recent state law authorizing the establishment of partnered academic lab schools in Virginia. The schools will be privately run and publicly funded to encourage innovation in teaching methods and instruction.
“Not surprisingly, but most appreciated is the overwhelming public approval and support for increased funding for historically black colleges and universities; this should increase support in the General Assembly, especially with the Attorney General’s recent notice removing long-manufactured legal restraints for proper and deserved funding of Virginia HBCUs,” Wilder said. “More than half of survey respondents support lab schools, indicating that Virginians are looking for alternative educational options to what is currently on offer.”
When it came to excess Commonwealth tax revenue, 47% of respondents favored using extra taxpayers’ money for government programs such as social welfare initiatives or clean energy projects funded by the Commonwealth. State, versus returning the surplus to taxpayers in the form of $250 rebates to individuals.
The Commonwealth poll included landline and mobile phone interviews from June 30 to July 9, 2022, with a representative sample of 813 adult residents of Virginia. It has a margin of error of 5.81%. The full survey results are available below.
More than half of Virginians support eliminating the state motor vehicle fuel tax, also known as the gasoline tax, for a three-month period (58%). Although support was higher than opposition regardless of political party, Republicans (69%) and independents (58%) were more likely to support than Democrats (49%). Eliminating the gas tax was particularly popular among black respondents, with 76% supporting its elimination.
Also overwhelmingly supported, 7 in 10 Virginians support eliminating the state portion of the food tax in Virginia. As with the gas tax, although support was high regardless of party identification, Democrats (60%) were slightly less likely to support the measure than Republicans (79%) and Independents (76%). %). Respondents living in the Northwest (87%) and West Virginia (80%) were the most likely to support eliminating the grocery tax.
Use of excess tax revenue
Virginians were fairly evenly split on what to do with the excess tax revenue in Virginia – 47% prefer the excess to be used for government programs such as social welfare programs or clean energy projects funded by the state, while 42% prefer that the excess be used to give each Virginia Taxpayer a one-time reimbursement of $250. There was a large difference by party identification in respondents’ preferred options. Majorities of Democrats and independents favor the option of using the surplus for government programs (68% and 50%, respectively), while 62% of Republicans favor the $250 cashback option. Support for each option also differed by race – black respondents favor the $250 rebate (54%), while white respondents prefer using the excess toward government programs (48%).
More than half of survey respondents (56%) also favor allowing the establishment of partnered academic laboratory schools in Virginia, which will be privately operated and publicly funded to enable the innovation in teaching methods and instruction. There were no major differences between major demographic groups.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Nearly 8 in 10 Virginians (79%) support fundraising efforts at historically black colleges and universities. Despite high support across all political parties, Democrats were much more likely to support these efforts with 94% support compared to 69% of Republicans; 80% of Independents also support the efforts. Black respondents also had a higher likelihood of supporting than their white counterparts (96% vs. 78%, respectively).
For full poll results and analysis, visit oppo.vcu.edu/policy-poll/.
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