SALEM, Va., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In anticipation of the 2011 General Assembly session in Virginia, the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College conducted a statewide survey of 601 residents on fiscal and other issues.
A plurality of residents (46%) think sessions of the General Assembly are too short in duration, while about one-third (34%) think they are the right length. More than half of the respondents (56%) think that members of the Assembly are compensated appropriately, and slightly more think they are paid too much (22%) rather than too little (18%).
A large majority of respondents (83%) trust the state government to do what is right at least some of the time, but they are split on whether the state is heading in the right direction (45%) or if things have gotten off track (43%). Over half of those interviewed (57%) approve of the job Bob McDonnell is doing as Governor.
A majority of respondents (57%) think that government is trying to do things that should be left to individuals and businesses, while 34% think government should be doing more. Residents prefer a government that provides fewer services with lower taxes over a government that provides more services with higher taxes by more than two-to-one (68%-32%).
Most respondents (72%) preferred a combination of budget cuts and tax increases as a means of balancing the budget, but a quarter (25%) preferred budget cuts alone. Of those who supported some form of budget cuts, 82% still supported cuts even if it was a program that benefitted them. Similarly, 79% supported a tax increase even if it was one that they would have to pay.
Presented with a scenario in which there had to be budget cuts, respondents were offered a choice of areas to cut -- education (27%), health and human services (39%), public safety (29%), "all other items" (83%), and across-the-board cuts (52%).
Presented with a scenario in which there had to be tax increases, respondents were offered a choice of taxes to increase -- the sales tax (58%), personal income tax (41%), business income tax (55%), cutting the state's subsidy for the personal property tax (46%), and the gas tax (42%).
For full results and details visit: http://roanoke.edu/News_and_Events/Campus_News/RC_Poll_Va_General_Assembly_.htm
SOURCE Roanoke College