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Addressing the State Budget Deficit: A Survey of Minnesotans in 2005

Minnesota is facing difficult economic choices as the governor and legislature try to balance the state budget. The state has an estimated $700 million to $1.4 billion shortfall in the budget in the next two years. This 2005 AARP telephone survey explores different approaches to balancing the budget: cutting current services, increasing state revenues, or a combination of service cuts and revenue increases.

Of the 1,016 registered voters age 18 and up surveyed…

  • 85 percent oppose cuts in health care and long-term care services for older persons and people with disabilities as a way to help balance the budget
  • 83 percent support finding ways to generate additional revenues, if the money would be spent specifically on services that help low-income families, older persons, and people with disabilities
  • the majority of those surveyed support generating additional revenue by…
    • increasing the tax on beer and wine (81 percent)
    • increasing the cigarette tax by $1.00 to $1.48 per pack (79 percent)
    • adding a temporary surcharge on the income tax for households with annual incomes above $200,000 (78 percent)
    • closing business loopholes and exemptions (71 percent)
    • having more casino-style gambling in Minnesota (53 percent)

From January 3rd through 12th, Woelfel Research conducted a random telephone survey of 1,016 self-identified age 18+ registered voters in Minnesota, including 816 age 18+ Minnesotans and 200 AARP members. Dr. Silberman, the report's author, may be contacted at 202-434-6339 for additional information about the survey. (23 pages)

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