Monday numbers: New polling shows NC voters want to keep the corporate income tax, spend federal relief funds on core services

Monday numbers: New polling shows NC voters want to keep the corporate income tax, spend federal relief funds on core services

- in News, Top Story

Last month the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would eliminate the state corporate income tax over five years, beginning in 2024.

New polling, released last week by progressive policy group State Innovation Exchange (SiX), however, shows North Carolina voters overwhelmingly oppose such a change. The poll also looked at areas in which North Carolina voters believe the state should be investing its windfalls: the $5.4 billion in federal funding the state has received though the American Rescue Plan and an unreserved cash balance of over $7 billion.

“The polling shows that people want to see that money put into schools, roads, a lot of other good things that help working people,” Lazarus said. “They don’t want to see corporate taxes cut.”

TargetSmart, the firm that conducted the poll, has done similar surveys in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota. Ben Lazarus, the company’s director of research solutions, said the polling on this issue appears to be consistent across the states.

“It happens to be one of these rare circumstances where it’s really bad policy and really bad politics,” Lazarus said.

This week, a by-the-numbers look at the issue from the latest polling.

(Sources: Statewide Polling from State Innovation Exchange. See the  poll results, including information about methodology, here.)

66 – Percentage of respondents who said they oppose a proposal to completely eliminate the state income tax on the profits of corporations that do business in North Carolina.

That view held across the political spectrum with 59% of Republicans opposing the change, 74% of Democrats and 58% of independents.

Of those who voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, 58% opposed the change. Among supporters of President Joe Biden, 76% were opposed.

58 –Percentage of respondents who said Americans Rescue Plan funding should be used for “new investment in North Carolina families and businesses” rather than “existing obligations in the state budget and an elimination of taxes for corporation that do business in North Carolina.” That number was higher among rural respondents (59%) and Black respondents (76%).

55 – Percentage of respondents who said the state should use available funds to invest in “teacher pay and building an educator pipeline for North Carolina public schools.” That number was nearly the same among rural respondents (54%) and much higher among Black respondents (75%).

55 – Percentage of respondents who said the state should use available funds to invest in “public school infrastructure to fix up old schools and build new ones.” The number was the same among rural respondents and higher among Black respondents (75%)

52 – Percentage of respondents who said the state should use available funds to invest in “workforce training, education, and support.” The number was higher among rural respondents (54%) and Black respondents (71%).

52 – Percentage of respondents who said the state should use available funds to invest in “grants for small businesses in communities hard hit by the pandemic.” The number was higher among rural respondents (54%) and Black respondents (62%).

45 – Percentage of respondents who said the state should use available funds to invest in “water and wastewater infrastructure.” The number was the same for rural respondents and higher for Black respondents (57%).

40 – Percentage of respondents who said the state should use available funds to invest in “broadband access and affordability.” That number was lower among rural respondents (36%) and higher among Black respondents (54%).

47 – Percentage of respondents who said the state legislature should plan to pay for all of these types of investments in future state budgets rather than doing so only with one-time federal funding. That number was the same among rural respondents and high among Black respondents (64%).