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New poll shows strong opposition to income-tax increase, strong support for Right-to-Work law

2/18/2015, 7:29 p.m.
Illinois residents strongly support keeping the state income tax at 3.75 percent and support a Right-to-Work law, according to a ...

Illinois residents strongly support keeping the state income tax at 3.75 percent and support a Right-to-Work law, according to a poll commissioned by the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute.

The poll found that less than one quarter of Illinoisans are open to increasing the state’s income-tax rate to 4.25 percent, up from the current 3.75 percent – a proposal that has been floated in the Illinois Statehouse. More than 60 percent of Illinoisans support the principles of a Right-to-Work law, which gives workers the freedom to choose if they want to be in a union at their workplace. And the poll, conducted by Odgen & Fry, found that one month into his first term, more people have a favorable view of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner than an unfavorable view.

“What the results of this poll convey first and foremost is that Illinois residents will not tolerate a tax increase, and they absolutely are right to feel this way. A lack of revenue is not Illinois’ problem – it’s state government spending that has been out of control,” said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute. “The 2011 tax increase generated more than $31 billion for state coffers, yet the bill backlog remains and politicians still weren’t able to make ends meet. Illinoisans agree it’s time for a new approach that doesn’t involve taking more from hardworking residents.”

Results from the poll:

  • Gov. Bruce Rauner job approval:* 41.2 percent approval, 35.6 percent disapproval and 23.3 unsure

  • Retroactive state income-tax increase to 4.25 percent, up from the current rate of 3.75 percent: *62.4 percent oppose, while only 23.7 percent support a tax increase and 13.9 percent are unsure

  • Move government workers into 401(k)-style retirement plan:* 49.3 percent support, 32 percent oppose, 18.7 percent unsure

  • Give state government workers right to choose whether they should belong to union: *60.7 percent support, 26.6 percent oppose, 12.7 percent unsure.

  • Local Right-to-Work laws:* 55.9 percent support, 30.6 percent oppose, 13.5 percent unsure.

According to the pollster, 36.8 percent of respondents self-identified as independent, while 34.5 percent of Illinoisans polled self-identified as Democrats while 28.7 percent self-identified as Republicans. The poll surveyed 481 people with a margin of error at 4.56 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.