New Jerseyans have little faith in government

New Jerseyans have little confidence in the workings of state and local government, according to a Monmouth University/Gannett poll released today.

“The vast majority of New Jerseyans have come to the conclusion that the government in Trenton is broken,” said pollster Patrick Murray.

The poll found that only 1-in-10 Garden State residents feel that state and local government works well enough in its current state. Twenty-one percent thinks it only needs minor improvement, while the whopping majority – 64% — think that in order for government to improve, it needs a major overhaul.

The poll comes the day before Gov. Corzine is set to make a speech outlining how New Jersey will deal with the financial crisis.

The poll asked respondents to rate 14 policy areas on a 10 point scale – one being not at all a problem and 10 being an extremely serious problem.

Property taxes were consistently picked as the most serious problem, scoring an average of 8.7 out of 10. Next in line was cost of living (8.4), wasteful government spending (8.3) and health care costs (8.1).

Government corruption ranked fifth, with an average score of 7.7.

“Although the poll was conducted before passage of the financial rescue plan and resulting stock market volatility, it is clear that New Jerseyans had already placed cost of living issues at the top of their list of state priorities,” said Murray. “Unfortunately, most appear to doubt that much will be accomplished without a major shake-up of how state government operates.”

New Jerseyans have little faith in government