Polling released Thursday shows that 67 percent of California voters support the initiative that will be on the ballot in November 2012 that would require millionaires to pay more progressive tax rates in order to restore funding for education and other essential programs. Tulchin Research, which conducted the poll said this was the highest positive response they had ever seen for a revenue-related initiative since they've been conducting polls.
The group behind the initiative, Restoring California, hired Tulchin to conduct the poll, which was done, in conjunction with focus groups, after May 2011. Other key findings include:
75% of California voters likely to vote in the November 2012 general election agree the rich have gotten richer over the past several years while middle class families have struggled. 73% of voters indicate they are open to raising taxes on the wealthy to restore funding to essential services. If the November 2012 elections were held today, 67% of voters would vote YES to support the Millionaires Tax to Restore Funding to Essential Services, a ballot measure that raises taxes on those making more than $1 million a year to restore funding to education and other essential services. Specifically, 84% of Democrats, and 68% of independent voters are supporting the measure, and Republicans are evenly split as 45% would vote YES on it if the election were held today. Every region of the state supports the measure, with the strongest support coming from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. Voters of all races and ethnicities would vote YES on the Millionaires Tax if the election were held today, including 88% of African Americans, 81% of Asians, 78% of Latinos, and 64% of white voters. Strongest support comes from those voters under 40 years of age (80% YES), though even a solid majority of voters 65 and older, who are traditionally more conservative, support it in solid numbers (59% YES). Voters of all income levels are backing the Millionaires Tax The highest level of support comes from voters making less than $35,000 a year in household income (83% YES); Voters making more than $250,000 a year in household income (the top 1% of households in the country) are also voting YES on the measure (59%).
There are several other revenue-producing ideas on the table in California, but the poll shows that the Millionaires Tax is the most likely of the proposals to pass. If this proposal passed, it would raise $6 billion.
“The additional reductions to education we are now facing with the trigger cuts will have devastating affects on our children in K-12 and make higher education even less accessible for working and middle class families after years of tuition increases,” said Joshua Pechthalt, a public school teacher and parent who serves as president of the California Federation of Teachers. “The Millionaires Tax would begin to move the tax responsibility for funding services and education back where it belongs, toward the Californians who have the most ability to pay, who have benefited the most over the past twenty years, while not placing any additional burden on the 99% who are already hurting from years of recession.”
The Millionaires Tax was developed after seven months of polling, surveys and meetings with thousands of Californians across the state.
“Our intent is to bring Californians into the decision-making process, since gridlock and backroom deals characterize how most policy is shaped in Sacramento,” explained Anthony
Thigpenn, Chair of California Calls, a grassroots alliance of community organizations. “What we heard loud and clear in this process was that working people and the middle class can’t afford to pay more right now, and those that have benefited the most in these hard times must pay their fair share.”
Groups that are supporting the Millionaires Tax include:
California Federation of Teachers, Courage Campaign, California Calls, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, California Partnership, Inner City Struggle, Equality Alliance, Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Knott’s Family and Parenting Institute, Communities for a New California, Oakland Rising, Causa Justa/Just Cause, The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, CAUSE, Working Partnerships USA, Poder Popular, Warehouse Workers United, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, California Civil Rights Coalition, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, PICO California, Richmond Progressive Alliance, UAW Graduate Students Local 2865, and the University of California Student Association.