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Poll: Majority Not Worried That HB 1234 Referendum Will Hurt Sales Tax Initiative

Last updated on 2012.12.11

The latest Madville Times poll tests the thesis offered by some K-12 superintendents trying to tamp down a referendum effort by their teachers. Here's what you said over the last three days:

How will referring HB 1234 to a public vote affect the chances of passing the extra-penny sales tax?

  • No effect either way: 48% (53 Votes)
  • Tax less likely to pass: 32% (35 Votes)
  • Tax more likely to pass: 20% (22 Votes)

Total Voters: 110

A strong two-thirds majority of folks checking in here reject the idea that referring HB 1234 will hurt the chances of passing Initiated Measure 15, the extra-penny sales tax for education and Medicaid.

I don't hear a lot of support for the superintendents' stated reasoning that adding another ballot measure will "confuse" voters. However, Mr. Gibilisco does get me thinking about an alternative interaction effect that could cause the HB 1234 referendum to undermine the sales tax initiative. Placing HB 1234 on the ballot reminds voters of how badly our Legislature spends our tax dollars. A drumbeat of campaign rhetoric decrying Pierre's choices could weaken some voters willingness to trust Pierre with more money.

But if the referendum petition drive fails, HB 1234 stays on the books and on people's minds. Legislative candidates will hammer incumbents on their bad votes on education policy. A referendum on HB 1234 doesn't seem to pose a unique disadvantage for folks trying to sell a tax increase in a time of economic stress and cynicism about government.

I've heard no rumblings that the superintendents' admonitions are holding teachers back. Referendum petitions continue to circulate... as well they ought. I do not believe a referendum on HB 1234 will have any identifiable effect on voting patterns for the sales tax initiative. But even if it did, I'd still advocate referring and overturning this very bad public policy. HB 1234 will do great damage to our schools that even the extra $80 million or so promised by Initiated Measure 15 could not undo.


  1. Rorschach 2012.04.18

    My vote on the extra penny sales tax increase will remain the same regardless of the 1234 referral being on the ballot.

  2. grudznick 2012.04.18

    A majority not worried?
    A majority said they don't think it matters either way, and they did not indicate which way they think it will go. They just said that being there won't affect the inevitable smashing of raising my taxes for special interest groups.

    If you leave those people out, then a majority said the whining about will hurt the raising of my taxes to give money only to special interest groups.

    I'm surprised you need an old unschooled fellow like me to correct your headline, Mr. H. That headline was Argus worthy.

  3. Stan Gibilisco 2012.04.19

    Half again as many people think that the mention of HR 1234 will make the tax less likely to pass, as think that the mention of HR 1234 will make the tax more likely to pass.

    So of those 57 people who think that the mention of HR 1234 will affect the referendum, 35 of them (61%) think that it will make the tax less likely to pass.

    Now I am no mind reader, but I'll bet there's a pretty strong correlation between the "less likely to pass" and the "nay" votes, and a pretty strong correlation between the "more likely to pass" and the "yay" votes.

    And I'll bet that there's a pretty good correlation between the people who think it matters and the people who will head to the polls.

    I think the tax increase will go down to defeat. And the more we talk about it, the more we mention it directly or indirectly, the more salt we will rub into the wounds of hurting taxpayers, and the more riled up they'll get.

    So keep bringing it up, eh! Just can't resist, eh! Okay, Don't say that ya ain't been warned, eh!

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.04.19

    Grudz, my headline is completely accurate. 48% said the referral will make no difference; 20% said the referral will help. That's 68% who reject the superintendents' thesis that the referral will hurt IM 15.

    Stan, I would love to pair the responses with data on which way people plan to vote on each topic. Unfortunately, my poll widget isn't that complex!

  5. Bill Fleming 2012.04.19

    Quick, somebody explain to Grudz the difference between a plurality and a majority.

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