Civitas poll claims support for state tax overhaul

From the Civitas Institute:

RALEIGH – A new poll by the Civitas Institute reveals strong support for tax reform like the new Senate plan for revamping North Carolina’s tax code.

“There is strong support for tax reform that lowers and flattens the personal income tax while expanding the sales tax base,” said Civitas Policy Director Brian Balfour. “In fact, that support grows noticeably stronger if taxpayers are assured the reform plan would mean a major tax cut for our economy.”

The Civitas Institute has advocated for bold state tax reform measures, including complete income tax elimination. The April poll results also suggest most North Carolinians would pose little opposition if lawmakers decide to eliminate state income taxes in the future.

“Indeed, when asked about complete personal income tax elimination to be offset by an expansion of the sales tax to services, three-fourths of respondents believe they will be either better off or about the same, with only one in five thinking they will be worse off,” Balfour said.

The poll of 600 registered voters was taken April 20-22, and had a margin of error of plus-minus 4 percent.

Text of questions*:

There is a proposal being considered that would reform North Carolina’s tax system. Among other things, it would not tax the first $12,000 of any family’s income, would institute a flat tax rate for personal income above that amount, and lower the corporate tax rate. The proposal would also lower the sales tax rate, BUT would expand sales taxes to services not currently being taxed. Do you support or oppose this tax reform proposal?

51% Total Support
32% Total Oppose

22% Strongly Support
29% Somewhat Support
13% Somewhat Oppose
19% Strongly Oppose
16% Undecided/Don’t Know
1% Refused

If you knew this tax reform plan would be the biggest tax cut in state history for North Carolina families, would you support or oppose the proposal?

68% Total Support
22% Total Oppose

41% Strongly Support
26% Somewhat Support
6% Somewhat Oppose
16% Strongly Oppose
10% Undecided/Don’t Know
1% Refused

If North Carolina were to completely eliminate its state personal income taxes while expanding the sales tax to also apply to services such as lawyers, accountants, car repair, house painting, etc., would this change make your household better off, worse off, or about the same?

28% Better off
19% Worse off
46% About the same
7% Don’t Know

*Because of rounding, subtotals may not equal overall totals.

Click here for crosstabs.

About the Poll:

This poll of 600 registered voters, of which 25% (150) were cell phone respondents, in North Carolina was conducted April 20-22, 2013 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered general election voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past two general elections (2010, 2012) or be newly registered to vote since November 3, 2012.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.”

For more information on Civitas polling, see


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