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Siena Poll shows overwhelming support for higher income tax on millionaires, judges discretion on bail

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  • Staff Report 

New York State voters have expressed overwhelming bipartisan support for two budget proposals being debated. According to a recent Siena College poll, 76% of registered voters support raising income taxes for those earning at least $5 million, while 72% support giving judges more discretion to set bail for serious crimes. The majority of voters also support banning flavored tobacco and providing fiscal incentives to municipalities that meet increased housing goals.

However, SUNY’s proposal to increase tuition fees has received strong bipartisan opposition. The poll shows that voters across New York see affordable housing and crime as serious problems, with 90% of respondents stating that affordable housing is a significant problem and 92% claiming crime is a serious issue statewide. In their community, 83% see affordable housing as a significant problem, while 65% say that crime is an issue.

When asked about the 2024 presidential primary, the majority of Republicans, 52%, stated that they would vote for Donald Trump, with only 27% supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and 18% preferring another candidate. Meanwhile, 51% of Democrats think that their party should nominate someone other than Joe Biden for President in 2024.

According to Steven Greenberg, Siena College pollster, “More than three-quarters of voters support increasing the personal income tax for those making at least $5 million, including 64% of conservatives, and at least 60% of every other demographic group.” Greenberg added, “Banning flavored tobacco continues to have strong support, 58-34%, including more than two-thirds of Democrats. There is also strong bipartisan opposition to a SUNY tuition increase of 3-6%.”

The poll also shows that voters are divided on several other issues, including mandates for electrification of new buildings, which is supported 49-40%. Increasing the MTA payroll tax divides voters evenly, 43-43%, while providing health insurance for undocumented immigrants is opposed 49-44%, despite support from 64% of Democrats.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings have slipped a little over the last two months. According to the poll, nearly half of voters are following news about the budget very or somewhat closely, and 34% of voters, including 47% Democrats, think Hochul will do the best job representing them in budget negotiations.

The Siena College poll also found that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a 46-25% favorability rating, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s favorability rating has increased to 54-36%. Voters continue to express concern about the direction of both the state and the country, with the majority believing that both are headed in the wrong direction.