Tibbits-Nutt Revenue Ideas Panned In Poll


Colin A. Young, State House News Service

Poll results released Tuesday showed that people in Massachusetts "are tapped and they don't feel like they could pay more in taxes and fees" even if it's to support policies they might like, according to the pollster.

Jim Eltringham of Advantage Inc. polled 750 likely Massachusetts voters last week on behalf of the conservative Fiscal Alliance Foundation, taking their temperatures on Bay State politicians, the overall direction of the commonwealth and a series of proposals that have attracted attention on Beacon Hill. Among the issued polled were the bevy of tax- or fee-related ideas that Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt floated last month in a speech that got her a rebuke from Gov. Maura Healey.

The secretary said she was considering proposing tolls at the state border, adding new fees to package deliveries, increasing fees on transportation network company rides, upping the auto excise tax, and increasing the payroll tax. More than 60 percent of respondents said they supported none of the ideas, 25 percent said they supported one or two of the secretary's suggestions, about 10 percent said they supported three or four of the ideas, and 4 percent said they support all of the ideas.

"Unsurprisingly, I think, the tolls at the state border was the number one response, it got the most support. Because the running theme through ... a lot of the questions, both on housing policy and transportation policy, is that people are tapped a little bit and they don't want to pay more," Eltringham said Tuesday. "So tolls at the state border kind of shifts some of that [to] people coming in, and that makes sense. But everything else, you see everything in kind of the low -- like one out of every six -- range of people supporting it."

Coming six months before the elections, the poll also found that slightly more Massachusetts voters think the state is headed in the wrong direction (43 percent) than think the state is headed in the right direction (40 percent).

Most voters (50.5 percent) have a strongly (26.9 percent) or somewhat (23.6 percent) favorable view of Healey. That's up from when a Fiscal Alliance poll asked the same question in February and found that 46.32 percent of voters had either a strongly favorable view of Healey (26.52 percent) or a somewhat favorable view of her (19.8 percent).

Eltringham's poll found that most voters (52.6 percent) here have a strongly (35 percent) or somewhat (17.6 percent) favorable opinion of President Joe Biden, while a majority of voters (53 percent) said they have a "strongly unfavorable" opinion of former President Donald Trump (plus 8 percent who have a somewhat unfavorable view of him).

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