Penny tax rates high in new FEA poll
In a poll released today by the Florida Education Association, 77 percent of Florida voters strongly or somewhat favor imposing a penny sales tax increase for three years if funds are dedicated to public education.
"In the Legislature, there is no consensus on how to make our schools a priority and we only have three weeks to go," said Andy Ford, president of the FEA. "Florida's voters agree with us. We need to invest in our public schools."
The poll of 800 registered Florida voters was conducted March 11-17 by Hamilton Campaigns and has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
- On the issue of class size, 49 percent think the 2002 voter-approved class-size amendment should stand with final implementation set to occur next year. But 39 percent said the state should delay the final phase because it doesn't make sense in this economy. The poll did not assess support for the Senate's combined constitutional amendment proposal to loosen class size standards and impose a permanent penny sales tax for education.
- As to which issue is most critical for the governor and Legislature to deal with, 29 percent said "strengthening the economy and creating jobs," while 18 percent said "improving public education."
- Thirty percent expect Florida's economy to get worse in the next year.
- Sixty percent say funding for public education in Florida should be increased, with 50 percent saying that increase should happen even if it means higher taxes.
- Fifty-eight percent say Florida's state budget has "major problems."