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Addressing the State Budget Deficit: A Survey of Minnesotans

Due to lower state revenues and greater than projected need for services, Minnesota faces an estimated $4.5 billion shortfall in the next two years. The Governor's proposal to balance the state budget primarily involves cuts to current state services.

This telephone survey of 801 Minnesotans age 18+ found that:

  • 88 percent say it is important that the state maintain current levels of funding for services for low-income, older, and disabled persons
  • 88 percent support the Governor's proposal to maintain the state prescription drug program for low-income Minnesotans who are over age 65 or disabled
  • 83 percent support finding ways to generate additional revenue if it is spent on services for low-income, older, and disabled persons, and at least 75 percent support:
    • increased taxes on beer, wine, and liquor
    • increased cigarette taxes (by $1 a pack)
    • a temporary surcharge on income taxes for households with annual incomes above $200,000
    • closing loopholes and exemptions
  • 82 percent support increased taxes if the money is paid to local governments for services like police and firefighters
    • Minnesotans feel these taxes should be raised at the state level through taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, etc. (69 percent) rather than at the local level where property taxes likely would be raised (16 percent).

Interviews were conducted during March 2003 by Woelfel Research, Inc. The report was prepared by Joanne Binette and Debbie Gann, both of AARP Knowledge Management. For further information, please, contact Joanne Binette at 202/434-6303. (23 pages)

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