TRENTON – A poll conducted by the New Jersey Association of Realtors found strong support for Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed 10 percent income tax cut plan – and the Assembly Democrats’ proposed plan to decrease property taxes by 20 percent.
NJAR surveyed 800 random voters in what it described as a non-partisan poll.
The survey showed that if voters had to select one of the tax cut plans, 40 percent of respondents favor Christie’s plan, and 36 percent favor the Assembly Democrats’ plan, which would provide the property tax cut by putting in place a surtax on high-income households.
Just 18 percent of respondents favor the plan by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) of West Deptford, which calls for an income tax credit that is equivalent to 10 percent of a household’s property taxes. The plan would only apply to residents earning less than $250,000.
Support for Christie’s and the Democrats’ plans goes down though when the opposition’s talking points are used.
For example, support for Christie’s plan shrinks to 45 percent when someone is convinced it’s a giveaway to wealthy residents at the expense of middle-class folks.
As for the Democrats’ plan, 60 percent are less likely to support either plan when told they would not be able to claim a property tax deduction on their income taxes.
Joe Goode of American Strategies Inc., which conducted the survey for NJAR, said the poll shows residents are anxious for a plan that will help reduce their financial burdens.
“The real takeaway is that 60 percent are looking for some kind of tax relief,” Goode said in a conference call Tuesday.
Christie has been open to Sweeney’s tax cut proposal, but has called the Assembly Democrats’ plan dead on arrival.
When asked which plan is the best, Jarrod Grasso, chief executive officer of NJAR, said from the association’s perspective, any of the tax relief plans would be helpful for residents.
Editor’s note: After the Realtors’ poll was released, the organization issued the following correction regarding one of the questions asked:
“A question posed to 800 randomly selected New Jersey voters asked them if they would be more or less likely to support a Senate Democratic plan to receive a tax credit equal to ten percent of their property taxes, knowing they would no longer be able to deduct property taxes from their state income tax. Unfortunately, the question posed was erroneous. In fact, the loss in a taxpayer’s ability to deduct one’s property taxes from state income tax filings is not part of Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s property tax plan.”