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Into the Black: A Survey of Virginia Voters on State Service Cuts and Tax Changes

Like many states, Virginia is experiencing an economic downturn characterized by lower state revenues and greater need for state services than projected. After cutting $6 billion from its budget over the last two years, Virginia now faces an estimated $1 billion budget gap, and has received threats to its credit rating.

Of the 812 age 18+ registered Virginia voters surveyed by telephone...

  • 69 percent oppose cuts in spending for state services
  • 81 percent oppose cuts to health and long-term care services for children, older persons, and people with disabilities and to education including K-12 and higher
  • about 70 percent support pairing reductions in other taxes with increasing cigarette (75%), corporate (73%), and income taxes on households with incomes over $100,000 (68%) to help balance the state budget without major spending cuts
  • about 70 percent support pairing increases in other taxes with lowering income taxes on the first $20,000 of income for all filers (72%), increasing the personal income tax exemption from $800 to $1,000 (69%), and increasing the standard income tax deduction from $3,000 to $3,500 for individuals and from $5,000 to $7,000 for couples (68%) to help balance the state budget without major spending cuts
  • over 70 percent support total tax reform if it helps Virginia provide quality public and higher education (77%) and balances the state budget without more major cuts in spending on services (73%)

Interviews were conducted between February 19 and 25, 2004 by Woelfel Research, Inc. Rachelle Cummins of AARP Knowledge Management analyzed the data and wrote the report, and may be contacted at 202/434-6297 for further information. (29 pages)

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