No doubt it is just the human condition, but while more than 80 percent of Utahns say it is important to move Utah out of last place nationally in per-student funding, and two-thirds say income taxes should be increased for public schools, about a third of Utahns say they personally should be paying more income taxes to educate our children, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.
In previously published surveys, pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that Utahns are basically embarrassed that Utah ranks last in the nation in per-student funding.
And 66 percent said the personal and corporate income tax rates of 5 percent should be increased by 7/8th of 1 percent to provide more money for schools.
Yet, in a new poll 49 percent of Utahns say the amount they pay in state personal income tax is “about the right amount” to support public schools.
Jones finds that 30 percent of Utahns say they personally should be paying more in income taxes to support education, 11 percent said they are paying too much as it is, and 10 percent didn’t know.
You see how the opinions change: So many (83 percent) say Utah needs to spend more money on education to bring the state out of last place in per-pupil spending.
Two-thirds support increasing the income tax rate by 7/8th of a percent for K-12 funding.
But only about a third (30 percent) say their own personal income tax bill is too small – and that they should be paying more for schools.
As might be expected, Republicans are stingier with their income taxes – which by law must all go toward higher and public education – than are Democrats and political independents.
59 percent of Republicans said their personal income tax are “about right” is supporting schools.
22 percent said their own taxes should be higher to support schools.
11 percent said they are paying too much in income taxes for schools currently.
And 9 percent didn’t know.
Democrats feel the opposite:
54 percent said they personally should be paying more income taxes to support schools.
37 percent said their state income tax bill was “about right.”
2 percent thought they were paying too much.
And 7 percent didn’t know.
Political independents – who don’t belong to any political party – are split:
43 percent say they are paying “about right” in income taxes now.
32 percent said they should be paying more to support school kids.
14 percent said they are paying too much in state income taxes as it is.
And 11 percent didn’t know.
Those who told Jones they are “very conservative” politically don’t want to pay more for students – 57 percent said they are paying the correct amount now.
Mormons are big on large families and strongly advocate for a good education.
Yet Jones finds 56 percent of “very active” Mormons say their state personal income tax bill is about right for the support of schools as is.
Twenty-seven percent of good Mormons said they should be paying more for schools.
Seven percent said they are paying too much as is.
And 10 percent of Mormons don’t know.
So, you can see from the three questions that as the possibility of YOU actually paying more state income taxes to better fund public schools, Utahns are less likely to support a tax increase.
Jones polled 818 adults from Oct. 12-20. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.43 percent.