Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Voters like revenue cap; Crist's approval down



Florida voters like the revenue cap and sales tax "swap" being considered by a powerful state commission, but little is known about the plans and support falls short of the 60 percent approval, according to a new statewide poll.

The poll, released this morning, also shows Gov. Charlie Crist's approval rating has dropped to its lowest point ever -- 59 percent. (He peaked at 73 percent last year.)

Even so, the ratings "remain the envy of most governors," says Peter Brown of Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The reason his numbers are lower is that they were so high to begin with and voter satisfaction with how things are going in Florida has plummeted."

The revenue cap is favored by 50 percent of voters, while 31 percent were opposed. Similar to a "taxpayer bill of rights" adopted in Colorado, it would cap state and local spending at inflation and population growth plus 1 percent. On Monday it faces a critical vote on the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.

Support was slightly weaker, at 48 percent, for the so-called tax swap to eliminate most school property taxes in favor of a higher sales tax and possibly eliminating sales tax exemptions. The TBRC has already passed the plan but it must come up for a final vote later this month and forces are working to keep it off the ballot.

During a bleak budget year, the poll revealed one slam dunk money maker: A $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax. It got 69 percent approval. But Republican lawmakers have already resisted the idea, afraid of raising any tax in an election year.

From April 7 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,215 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:50am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours