Does the City of Elk Grove's polling paint an accurate picture about support for a $23 million sales tax increase?

This survey on does not ask respondents if they support a $23 million tax increase. | 

During their Wednesday, July 27 meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will likely vote to place a one-percent local sales tax increase measure on the November 2022 ballot. If voters approve the measure, taxpayers will spend an additional $23 million annually, which may or may not be used for the relocation costs of the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove.

While generating the new revenue will fulfill city council members' long-standing lust for increased revenues to fund their pet projects, what did the taxpayer-funded polling say about paying more taxes? The staff report for the tax measure provides a glimpse of what voters think about the framing of the issue. 

But that, too, does not paint a clear picture.  

According to survey data compiled by Fairbanks, Maulin, Metz & Associates (FM3) on the city's behalf, respondents ranked emergency response, homelessness, and public works maintenance as top priorities. While FM3 reported that 65 percent of survey respondents said there is a great or some need, only 26 percent said there was a great need, and 39 percent said there was some need

Similarly, when read a sample 75-word ballot, only 34 percent of respondents were definitely yes and 22 percent probably yes. The survey found only 25 percent as a definite no and six percent as a probably no on the sales tax hike. 

FM3 also included non-scientific survey results posted on the page in their report. The popularity survey showed that 39 percent of respondents ranked reducing crime as their top priority and enhancing youth crime and gang prevention programs as the lowest, with three percent of the six categories presented.

Of note, the survey (see image at the top of this story) has 583 responses as of July 14. The survey does not ask participants if they support a tax increase or not and is similar to a so-called push poll.  

While tax increase opponents are dwarfed by those resolutely in support, as with any election, many in the mushy middle can be swayed. Given no-known organized opposition to the tax measure and a large number of what could be classified as on-the-fence voters, expect the sales tax increase proponents to wage a well-funded, slick campaign to push the measure across the finish line.   

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

If our esteemed Mayor and City Council think a higher sales tax is a good thing, then I'm all in! Forget the talk about stagflation. When the economy is slowing down, layoffs and small business closures will likely increase, and government revenues will decline, then by all means, Elk Grove should raise taxes rather than reduce expenditures.

Before I open my wallet, I always ask myself one question--what would Bobbie do?

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