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VCU Poll: Majority Of Virginians Willing To Pay More

Jahd Khalil
Radio IQ

Virginians are divided over whether more taxes are needed to help low-income people. A new poll from the Wilder Center at Virginia Commonwealth University found a majority of respondents said they would pay more to maintain public education, support for low income families and health care. Fewer would approve of an increase to support criminal justice reform or higher education.

There was more division by political party. The survey found 86% of Democrats are willing to pay more taxes to maintain current services versus only 31% of Republicans.

"I think people equate it with welfare," former Governor Douglas Wilder surmised. "To the extent that the poll doesn't say welfare, it pretty much speaks to the money that's being spent for these various areas — services for people for health care and for those at the bottom rung of the ladder, public education."

The poll also found that women are more willing than men to support paying more taxes to maintain healthcare, 60% to 50%.

Click here to read the full results

The poll also shows that people who live in Southwest Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley don't approve of the way the General Assembly has handled its job during the pandemic.

"Were there opportunities for people to present differing points of view? I think there is a crying need, and I think it's reflected in the polls, that more people need to have more information and the availability to present their points of view," Wilder said. "Bottom line is the more transparency we have in government the better the government could be."

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.