Shock Poll: California Voters Prefer Low Taxes, Smaller Government

A new Field Poll yields a surprising result: by 54% to 35%, California voters "say they prefer lower taxes and fewer government services to higher taxes and more government services." In addition, an astonishing 73% of California voters believe government spending should be reduced (34%) or maintained (39%) at current levels.

The result is largely driven by Republicans, who want lower taxes and fewer services by an 81% to 13% margin. Democrats, by contrast, tend to prefer higher taxes and more government services--albeit by a much smaller margin, 51% to 36%. 

The Field Poll notes that voters are less enthusiastic about cutting spending on specific state and local programs, and that most California voters want to increase spending on K-12 education. Opinions are divided on other spending priorities, or else believe that government spending should be kept at current levels.

The poll also asked voters their opinion about Proposition 13, the 1978 amendment to the state constitution that restrained property taxes. While most Californians are fairly knowledgeable about Proposition 13, a bipartisan majority favors changing Proposition 13 so that business and commercial properties are reassessed when sold.

The survey was conducted among 1,000 registered voters from Mar. 18 to Apr. 5.


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