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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Majority of Iowans support plans to increase some taxes

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

A majority of Iowans support Gov. Tom Vilsack's proposals to increase the cigarette tax and expand the sales tax, according to the copyright Iowa Poll in the Des Moines Sunday Register.

The survey shows 70 percent of the state's adults favor raising the cigarette tax by 60 cents a pack.

Twenty-nine percent are opposed and 1 percent are unsure.

Sixty-three percent favor extending the sales tax to 17 services that aren't currently taxed, including accounting and engineering. Twenty-nine percent are opposed and 8 percent are undecided.

The poll, conducted Feb. 7-11 by Selzer & Co. Inc., has margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. It was based on random telephone interviews with 800 Iowans age 18 or older.

"I'm a former smoker, and I honestly don't think they tax cigarettes enough," said poll participate David Geiger, of Council Bluffs.

The current tax on cigarettes is 36 cents a pack.

But Geiger, a political independent is among a minority of Iowans who are opposed to expanding the sales tax.

"I just don't think that's a good idea. I'd hate to see that happen because services by and large are things that people have, just like food," he said.

Majority support for the governor's tax proposals doesn't translate into popularity for Vilsack, a Democrat serving his second term.

The survey found 62 percent disapprove of his handling of the state budget, 51 percent fault his handling of education and 46 percent disapprove of his handling of economic development.

Vilsack does better on his overall job performance _ 49 percent say they approve, while 41 percent disapprove.

The governor's current rating is 1 point above his lowest popularity level since taking office in 1999. In a June 2002 poll, 48 percent of Iowans approved of his effort.

The latest Iowa Poll was taken prior to two important developments last week.

Vilsack said he would veto an education spending bill because he believes it does not provide enough money for schools over the next two years.

He also announced $20 million in state financing for 28 Iowa companies through the Grow Iowa Values Fund and other economic development programs.



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