| October 4, 2011

Oklahomans Want Lower Taxes, Smaller State Government

In an effort to gauge public opinion on various policy questions, OCPA recently commissioned SoonerPoll, a highly respected survey firm, to conduct a statewide survey of 587 likely Oklahoma voters. The survey was conducted July 25 through August 11, 2011. The margin of error is ± 4.04 percent.

Do you consider yourself a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative in your political beliefs?

  • Very liberal... 8%
  • Somewhat liberal... 5%
  • Moderate... 30%
  • Somewhat conservative... 17%
  • Very conservative... 35%
  • Don’t know/Refused... 6%

Which of the following statements do you agree with more?

  • I’d rather pay higher taxes to support a larger state government that provides more services... 28%
  • I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government that provides fewer services... 59%
  • Neutral... 11%
  • Don’t know/Refused... 3%

Do you think that Oklahoma’s state government wastes a lot of money we pay in taxes, wastes some of it, or doesn’t waste very much of it?

  • Wastes a lot... 51%
  • Wastes some... 36%
  • Doesn’t waste very much... 8%
  • Neutral/No opinion... 2%
  • Don’t know/Refused... 3%

There has been a lot of talk these days about the hundreds of tax credits and other tax breaks in the Oklahoma tax code. It’s possible that some of these tax breaks will be eliminated in the years ahead. If so, some people say the additional revenues should be used to fund state-government services. Other people say the additional revenues should be used to reduce the Oklahoma income tax rate. Which view comes closer to your own?

  • Fund state-government services... 31%
  • Reduce the Oklahoma income tax... 63%
  • Don’t know/Refused... 6%

Gov. Mary Fallin recently said one of her long-term goals is to eliminate the Oklahoma income tax, which is the largest source of state revenue. Some people say this can be done by restructuring the tax system. They say we could increase property taxes or other taxes to make up for the lost income-tax revenue. Other people say this can be done without raising other taxes. They say that normal growth revenue, coupled with reductions in state spending, will enable us to phase out the income tax over a 7-year-period. If Oklahoma is going to eliminate the income tax, which option would you prefer?

  • Restructuring the tax system to raise other taxes... 22%
  • Phase out without raising other taxes... 65%
  • Neutral/No opinion... 12%
  • Don’t know/Refused... 1%

Under new laws which recently took effect in Florida and Missouri, adults applying for welfare assistance are required to undergo drug screening. Would you support or oppose a proposal to enact a similar law in Oklahoma?

  • Strongly support... 79%
  • Somewhat support... 9%
  • Neutral/No opinion... 3%
  • Somewhat oppose... 2%
  • Strongly oppose... 7%

According to official state data, education spending in Oklahoma is approximately $8,400 per student. Are taxpayers getting a good return on their investment of $8,400 per student per year?

  • Yes... 23%
  • No... 62%
  • Neutral/No opinion... 11%
  • Don’t know/Refused... 4%

Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.

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