St. Petersburg Voters revealed last week that they are concerned about the direction the city is heading in and a large number believe government spending is too high. A poll answered by 1458 city voters was conducted by the Sun Beam Times last week over telephone. Based on the survey, St. Petersburg voters expressed concerns about city spending, taxation and government worker benefits. A large percentage of those polled plan to vote in next year’s City Council elections. The results seem to support that the voters of St. Petersburg oppose raising taxes and increased government spending. The results also contradict a poll done by the People’s Budget Review that seems to indicate only a small percentage would oppose raising taxes. The Sun Beam Times city budget poll indicates that people are very unlikely to support increased government spending and taxes and is a far more reliable poll than the very biased poll conducted by the People’s Budget review.
Of those polled, the largest percentage (40%) felt the city was headed in the “wrong direction” when it came to economy and jobs. 24% were not sure about the direction of the city while 35% felt the city was going in the “right direction”.
Regarding taxes, St. Petersburg voters seemed evenly split between those who felt taxes were “too high” (45.6%) and “about right” (45.1%). Only a very small number felt taxes were too low (9.3%). It seems reasonable to conclude that the vast majority (90%) would be unhappy with an increase in taxes. A surprising finding was the opinion that city taxes are “too high” was shared at nearly the same rate by Democrats, Republicans and those with no party (45-46%). However, Democrats (13%) were more than twice as likely to feel that taxes were too low compared to Republicans (5%) with “no party affiliates” indicating this 7.8% time.
St. Petersburg voters expressed their most lopsided opinion about city spending which was felt to be “too high” by 49.7% of those responding. Only 18.8% felt the city should spend still more money and 31.5% felt spending was about right. It would be reasonable to conclude that most people would not support increasing spending by the city government.
The poll was conducted by the Sun Beam Times and was funded by Dr. David McKalip, the blog’s founder. The poll surveyed voters based on the proportion of those registered to vote as Republican, Democrat or No Party. The survey used a straight-forward and unbiased method in stark contrast to the People’s Budget Review (PBR) Poll funded by progressive groups, Unions and supported by extreme liberal interests like “Occupy St. Petersburg”. For instance, in the first poll by the PBR, a series of questions was asked (about 11) about vital city services before asking about raising taxes. Then there was no simple question about supporting raising taxes, only the following question which can only bias the results:
“No, I do not support any rate increase, even if it means additional city services will be cut.” (23% chose this PBR poll response)
The PBR survey has been used by the city’s elected officials to justify raising taxes and/or fire fees. However, they would be better served by this simple, unbiased poll by the Sun Beam Times which does not seek to influence the answer through complicated push polling tactics. In addition, the PBR poll never asked people their simple opinion of whether they felt taxes were too high, too low or just right.
The Sun Beam Times is happy to offer this poll to the Citizens of St. Petersburg as a community service and will conduct more in the future.