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CC Poll presentation-APR2013

VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 42

									April 2013
About The Contra Costa Poll
An ongoing effort by the Shell, Tesoro and Phillips 66 oil refineries to
explore local voter opinions and encourage an informed conversation
on a wide range of timely public policy issues.




                                                                           2
Telephone Survey of
Contra Costa County Voters

Presentation of Results and Analysis

April 8, 2013




                                       3
                                        Methodology



• Telephone survey of Contra Costa County
  likely voters                              As with any opinion research, the
                                             release of selected figures from this
                                             report without the analysis that
• Conducted February 4-10, 2013              explains their meaning would be
                                             damaging to EMC. Therefore, EMC
• 600 completed interviews, including        reserves the right to correct any
  both landlines and cell phones             misleading release of this data in
                                             any medium through the release
• Margin of error: 4.0 percentage points     of correct data or analysis.
  for overall results
                                             Please note that due to rounding,
• Where applicable, results compared         percentages may not add up to
                                             exactly 100%.
  to previous research conducted by
  EMC Research



                                                                                     4
                                        Objectives




• Part of an on-going effort to explore local voter opinions to help
  encourage an informed conversation on timely public policy issues.

• This specific poll sought the opinions of Contra Costa likely voters
  on Proposition 13, tolerance for new taxes for public services, and
  perspectives on California’s Proposition 30.




                                                                         5
                                      Key Findings



• General optimism is at its highest level since 2006.

• A majority of county voters supported Prop 30 (and still admit to it).

• Contra Costa County voters in general are open to supporting certain
  tax measures and paying higher taxes for high quality public services.

• Voters would like to see their tax dollars go toward education, public
  safety, and infrastructure.

• Many voters are unfamiliar with Prop 13; when they learn more
  about it most have a favorable opinion.

• A majority favor tax breaks for businesses.
                                                                           6
General Mood of the Electorate




                                 7
                          Pluralities feel both the state and county 
are headed in the
                                                  right direction.


         Do you feel that things in ________ are generally going in the right direction or
         do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?


                          Right Direction            (Don't know)              Wrong Track



   California                    48%                     11%                   41%



Contra Costa
  County                         49%                          19%                  32%



                                                                                             8
                                      Current Right Direction rating for the County
                                      is the highest EMC has recorded since 2006.


          Do you feel that things in Contra Costa County are generally going in the right
          direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?


                                    Right direction            Wrong track

                                     60%
57%
                           51%                52%
                  47%                                                                                             49%
          45%                                            43%                               44%
                                                                    40%         42%                    42%

           43%                                                                               39%                  32%
                  38%      28%                                                                          38%
                                                         36%         34%         33%
23%                                 21%       23%




Jul-01   Mar-03   Apr-04   Sep-04   Sep-05   May-06     Apr-10     Jan-11      Sep-11     Dec-11     May-12      Feb-13
                                                    Results from previous county-wide polling conducted by EMC Research
                                                                                                                      9
                                      Voters in the South and Lamorinda regions are the
                                      most optimistic about the direction of the county.


            Do you feel that things in Contra Costa County are generally going in the right direction
            or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

                                               Right Direction - CoCoCo

              East                                                           43%
             South                                                                                      62%
Region




           Central                                                                    50%
             West                                                     38%
         Lamorinda                                                                                      62%


             18-29                                                                     51%
             30-39                                                                       53%
             40-49                                                                            56%
Age




             50-64                                                          43%
              65+                                                                    50%
                                                                                                              10
                                        Education and the economy remain top
                                             of mind concerns for many.

   What do you feel is the most important problem facing Contra Costa County today? (Open end)

                                        January 2011   August 2011    May 2012      February 2013
Education/Schools                           21%           16%            23%            18%
Economy/Unemployment                        18             25             19             16
Crime/Safety                                 9             12             5              13
Budget/Finances                             15             4              13             8
Traffic                                      --            4              2              5
Taxes                                        2             3              3              4
Pensions/Gov’t Benefits                      3             2              3              4
Infrastructure/Transportation                5             4              4              3
Funding basic public services                2             --             2              3
Foreclosures/Housing                         2             6              5              3
Politics/Politicians/Gov’t leadership        2             2              2              2

Other                                        9             14             9              8
Nothing/Don’t know                          11             10             9              14
                                                                                                    11
                             Concerns vary somewhat by region; education is a top
                           concern everywhere; crime is the top concern in the East.


        What do you feel is the most important problem facing Contra Costa County today?
        (Open end) by region


                           Countywide     East       South      Central     West     Lamorinda

Education/Schools              18%        13%         20%        18%        20%            23%

Economy/Unemployment           16          17         13          13         19            21

Crime/Safety                   13          23          4           9         19             7

Budget/Finances                 8           6         18           9          5             4



Nothing/Don’t know             14          12         15          16         11            11



                                                                                                 12
                                    Voters believe Democrats should be cautious with their
                                         new two-thirds majorities in the Legislature.


 As you may know, the November election left Democrats with two-thirds majorities in both houses of
 the State Legislature, which gives them the ability to raise taxes or pass other bills with no Republican
 votes. With that in mind, which of the following statements is closer to your opinion:


Democrats need to be cautious and work to balance the
   budget, reduce the debt, and take other steps to                                                   61%
             improve the state’s finances.

    Democrats need to take bold action and use their
 majorities to increase state revenues to restore funding
for schools, colleges, and other public services that were               25%
              significantly cut in recent years.




                               Neither/Both/Don't Know            15%

                                                                                                             13
General Views on Taxes




                         14
                                      Six-in-ten (60%) voters say they are willing to pay
                                      higher taxes to fund high quality public services.


               Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.

     Strongly agree      Somewhat agree      (Don't know)      Somewhat disagree        Strongly disagree


 Taxes in Contra Costa County are high
    enough; I’ll vote against any tax
  increase on the ballot regardless of        27%           13% 4%          24%                 31%
      what the money is used for.



I am willing to pay higher taxes to fund
     high quality public services.             31%                  29%          3%11%          26%


  The elimination of a tax break is the
      same thing as raising taxes.              31%              20%        7%      21%           20%

                                                                                                            15
                              Majorities in each region say they are willing to pay
                                 higher taxes for high quality public services.


       I am willing to pay higher taxes to fund high quality public services. (by region)


                               Agree                  Don't know                   Disagree


Lamorinda                              65%                                6%            29%

  Central                            62%                             2%               37%

   South                            59%                            3%                39%

    West                            59%                             6%               34%

     East                         55%                          4%                  41%
                                                                                              16
                             Most voters would like to see their tax dollars directed
                                 to schools, public safety, and infrastructure.


As you know, local tax money is         Schools/Education/Teachers                 65%
used to fund a wide variety of          Public safety/Police/Firefighters          30
public services. Many times voters
are asked to raise taxes in order       Infrastructure/Roads/Bridges               23
to renew, expand, or increase           Healthcare/Insurance/Coverage               9
funding for these services. If it
                                        Welfare/Social/Services/Help the poor       6
were up to you and you could
choose 2 areas to direct your tax       Employment/Job creation/Business support    6
dollars, what two places would          Transportation/Transit                      5
you most like to see your tax
dollars go?                             Parks                                       4
                                        Budget/Reduce deficit                       3
(Multiple responses accepted; results
do not add to 100%)                     Community/Youth programs/Activities         3


                                        Other                                      13
                                        Don’t Know/Refused/Nothing                  8

                                                                                         17
                                             Everyone favors money for schools;
                                        infrastructure is also a priority in Lamorinda.

    If it were up to you and you could choose 2 areas to direct your tax dollars, what two places
    would you most like to see your tax dollars go? (Multiple responses accepted; results do not add to 100%)


                                        Overall        East      South       Central       West      Lamorinda

Schools/Education/Teachers                65%          65%        74%         62%          64%           69%

Public safety/Police/Firefighters          30           38         18          28           38            13

Infrastructure/Roads/Bridges               23           20         25          20           17            51

Healthcare/Insurance/Coverage               9            8         13           8            8             6

Welfare/Social/Services/Help
                                            6            6          3           8            4            10
the poor

Employment/Job
                                            6            8          4           4            7             6
creation/Business support

Transportation/Transit                      5            4          8           6            4             0

                                                                                                                 18
                             Majorities are supportive of GO bond for infrastructure and
                              taxes for K-12 and public safety – at least conceptually.

          Please indicate whether you would likely vote yes or no on the following measures.

     Very likely yes    Somewhat likely yes    Undecided/       Somewhat likely no     Very likely no
                                               Don't Know
  a general obligation bond to fund
improvements to local infrastructure,
   including water and sewer lines,           31%                  33%           5%   10%      20%
electricity systems, roads, and bridges




a property tax to fund K-12 education            42%                 22%       3% 8%           25%



a property tax to fund fire, emergency
   response, and other public safety            37%                 26%        4% 11%          23%
                services

                                                                                                        19
                                      UUT and sales tax for pensions are unpopular.


           Please indicate whether you would likely vote yes or no on the following measures.

    Very likely yes    Somewhat likely yes     Undecided/       Somewhat likely no     Very likely no
                                               Don't Know


 a utility users tax levied on both
     residential and business
properties to fund general county      10% 18%           7%     18%                  47%
              services



a countywide sales tax increase to
     pay for unfunded pension
 liabilities for county employees,     6% 12% 8%            21%                      54%
     currently estimated to be
       between $2B and $3B


                                                                                                        20
Prop 30




          21
                                A majority of county voters supported Prop 30.
                                   (and most still admit having done so…)


As you may remember,
there was a measure on
the statewide ballot this           31%
past November called                               Voted No/         Actual results
Proposition 30, which                              Voted against     from November
raised the state sales tax by                                        Election:
one-quarter percent and              15%
raised income taxes on the                         Don't Know/       • 45% No
wealthy. Can you tell me
                                                   Refused
how you voted on Prop 30?
                                                                     • 55% Yes

                                                   Voted yes,
                                    54%            Voted for it




                                    Prop 30
                                                                                  22
                                              A plurality of voters favor cutting the
                                              state’s debt over increasing spending.

     As you may know, California is projected to collect more revenue this year than in the
     previous several years due to voter approval of Prop 30 and an improving statewide
     economy. With that in mind, which of the following statements is closer to your opinion:


Any extra revenue the state collects should be used to
cut the state’s debt, which is estimated to be between                                           45%
               167 and 355 billion dollars.

 Any extra revenue the state collects should be used to
   increase public spending on schools, colleges, law
enforcement, and other state programs that have faced                                      40%
             significant cuts in recent years.




                             Neither/Both/Don't Know              15%

                                                                                                   23
                                 Men and Republicans favor debt reduction.


              Forced choice for extra revenue: Reduce debt vs. Increase spending

                                Reduce Debt                    Increase Spending

      Men                       55%                                                32%

   Women                 37%                                              47%



Republicans                         65%                                              20%

 DTS/Other                  45%                                              41%

 Democrats             34%                                              52%

                                                                                           24
                           Debt vs. Spending is fairly even across regions;
                       some tilt toward debt reduction in South and Lamorinda.

            Forced choice for extra revenue: Reduce debt vs. Increase spending

                             Reduce Debt                     Increase Spending


    South                    53%                                             34%

Lamorinda                   51%                                              35%

     East                45%                                              41%

  Central                44%                                               40%

    West               41%                                               45%

                                                                                   25
Prop 13




          26
                                  Many voters are unfamiliar with Prop 13.



Do you have a favorable or
unfavorable opinion of Prop 13?       13%       19%         Strongly
                                      6%                    unfavorable

                                                            Somewhat
                                                            unfavorable
                                      48%                   (Don't Know)


                                                            Somewhat
                                      10%                   favorable

                                                33%         Strongly favorable
                                      23%


                                                                                 27
                                        Awareness of Prop 13 is highest in the
                                           South and Lamorinda regions.


Prop 13 favorability/awareness, by region.

                                             12%
                      19%                                      19%       21%
                                                      26%                          28%

  Unfavorable


                                                      28%
                      48%                    62%                48%                34%
                                                                         49%
  (Don't Know)



  Favorable
                                                      45%
                                                                                   38%
                      32%                                      32%       29%
                                             26%


                    Overall                  East    South    Central    West    Lamorinda

                                                                                         28
                                   A majority have a favorable view of
                                       Prop 13 after description.


As you may know, Prop 13
was a ballot initiative           13%       19%     17%              Strongly
passed by California voters
                                   6%                          33%   unfavorable
in 1978 that decreased
property taxes by assessing                         16%
property at its 1975 value,                                          Somewhat
restricting future increases,                                        unfavorable
and prohibiting the                                 11%
reassessment of property          48%
value unless there is a                                              (Don't
change in ownership. Prop                           20%              Know)
13 also established the
requirement of a two-thirds                                          Somewhat
vote majority in local            10%                          56%   favorable
elections for local
governments to raise taxes.                 33%     36%
                                  23%                                Strongly
Hearing what you just heard,                                         favorable
now do you have a favorable or
unfavorable opinion of Prop 13?
                                  Initial         After info
                                                                                   29
                                       After voters learn more about it, support for
                                          Prop 13 is highest in the West region.


Prop 13 favorability after info, by region.




                      33%                     31%                33%       28%
                                                       41%                             39%
 Unfavorable
                                                                            9%
                      11%                     12%
                                                                 13%
                                                        6%                             8%
 (Don't Know)



                                                                           63%
 Favorable            56%                     57%      53%       54%                   53%




                     Overall                  East     South    Central    West   Lamorinda

                                                                                             30
                                     Favorability toward Prop 13 increases with age.


Prop 13 favorability after info, by age.



                                                                         31%       26%
                      33%
                                             41%      40%       39%
 Unfavorable
                                                                                       7%
                                                                          10%
                      11%
                                                                11%
 (Don't Know)                                17%      17%


                                                                                   67%
 Favorable            56%                                                59%
                                                                49%
                                             42%      43%




                    Overall                 18-29     30-39    40-49     50-64     65+

                                                                                            31
Prop 13 Vote Threshold




                         32
                              A majority oppose changing the Prop 13 vote threshold.



As previously mentioned, Prop
13 established the requirement                                     Strongly
of a two-thirds vote majority in
local elections for local                    37%                   Oppose
governments to raise taxes.
Some have proposed changing
                                                       51%         Somewhat
the vote requirement for                                           Oppose
approval of local tax measures
from two-thirds to 55%.                      14%                   (Don't
Would you support or oppose                   11%                  Know)
this change?
                                                                   Somewhat
                                             17%                   Support
                                                       38%
                                                                   Strongly
                                             21%                   Support


                                                                                       33
                                    Results mostly unchanged after support/oppose messages.



Supporters of changing Prop 13 say the
two-thirds vote requirement creates an                                                  Strongly
uneven playing field and wide                                                           Oppose
disparities in public services, with                 37%                  37%
wealthier and more liberal                                     51%
communities able to pass tax increases                                            52%   Somewhat
at the two-thirds level and as a result,                                                Oppose
those areas have better schools and
other public services.                               14%                  15%           (Don't
                                                                                        Know)
Opponents of changing Prop 13 say                     11%                 10%
that we should leave the tax rules the
way they are. The two-thirds vote                                                       Somewhat
requirement allows well planned and
                                                     17%                  17%           Support
reasonable tax measures to be                                  38%
approved, but protects homeowners
                                                                                  38%
                                                                                        Strongly
and families from runaway property                   21%                  21%           Support
tax increases.

Given what you’ve heard, do you support or oppose    Initial         After Messaging
changing the Prop 13 vote requirement for approval
of local tax measures from two-thirds to 55%?
                                                                                                   34
                                 Older and conservative voters are less supportive
                                      of changing the vote threshold to 55%.


Support/oppose for changing Prop 13 vote threshold: after info, by age and ideology



Oppose
                                36%                                          37%
                                         42%
              53%                                 52%                                   51%
                                                           57%      57%
                                                                                                   68%

                                11%                                          11%
(Don't
                                         12%
Know/
Undecided)    10%                                 10%                                   13%
                                                           9%       8%

                                                                                                   6%
Support                         53%                                          52%
                                         46%
              38%                                 37%               35%                 36%
                                                           34%
                                                                                                   26%



             Overall           18-29    30-39    40-49    50-64     65+     Liberal   Moderate Conservative


                                                                                                         35
Tax Breaks for Businesses




                            36
                                   A majority favor tax breaks for businesses.



Do you generally support or
oppose tax breaks for businesses
                                           13%                      Strongly
in California?                                       30%            Oppose
                                           17%
                                                                    Somewhat
                                                                    Oppose
                                            19%
                                                                    (Don't Know)



                                           32%                      Somewhat
                                                      51%           Support

                                                                    Strongly
                                           19%                      Support


                                                                                   37
                               Results mostly unchanged after support/oppose messages.



Over the years, state lawmakers
have created dozens of special tax          13%                  18%           Strongly
breaks for businesses throughout                      30%
                                                                         36%   Oppose
California, all in the name of
creating jobs. Opponents say that
                                            17%
                                                                 18%           Somewhat
the promised jobs almost never
materialize and the tax breaks are                                             Oppose
just unfair giveaways to well-              19%
                                                                 14%
connected companies.                                                           (Don't
                                                                               Know)
Supporters say that these tax
breaks keep companies and jobs in
California and without them,                32%                  29%           Somewhat
thousands of jobs would be lost to                    51%                50%   Support
other states and countries that do
offer tax breaks.                                                              Strongly
                                            19%                  21%           Support
Given what you’ve heard, do you
generally support or oppose tax breaks
for businesses in California?
                                            Initial         After Messaging
                                                                                          38
                                    Most voters feel the elimination of tax breaks
                                         should be voted on by the public.


Which of the following statements is closer to your opinion:



Changing or eliminating tax breaks should
                                                                     23%
 be handled by the California legislature.


 Any changes or elimination of existing tax
 breaks for businesses should be voted on                                            62%
               by the public.




                   Neither/Both/Don't Know                     15%


                                                                                       39
Conclusions




              40
                                                          Conclusions



•   Contra Costa County voters are more optimistic about the direction of the
    County than they have been in many years.

•   A majority of Contra Costa County voters supported Prop 30.
     –   Prop 30 received 55% support in the County in the November election.
     –   The poll showed 54% remembered (admitted to) supporting Prop 30.

•   Contra Costa County voters in general are open to supporting certain tax
    measures and paying higher taxes for high quality public services.
     –   Majorities support concepts of General Obligation bond for infrastructure and taxes for K-12
         and public safety.
     –   Most oppose countywide UUT or a tax to fund county pension obligations.
     –   A majority supports tax breaks for businesses.

•   Many voters are unfamiliar with Prop 13; when they learn more about it
    most have a favorable opinion.
     –   Majority oppose changing vote threshold to 55% from current two-thirds.


                                                                                                        41

								
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