Governor Andrew Cuomo may have managed to sell his tax code overhaul to Albany lawmakers, but voters aren’t so sure about the plan. However, the lukewarm reaction to the tax plan hasn’t affected the governor’s approval rating. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 68% of New Yorkers approve of the job the governor is doing, but only 38% of voters gave a thumb’s up to the state’s new tax rates.
Just 17% of voters disapprove of the governor and voters from all sides of the aisle gave him high marks. Among Democrats, his approval rating stands at 71%, with independents it’s at 69% and among Republicans it’s 63%. Despite Governor Cuomo’s high numbers, pollsters found that just 38% of voters approve of the governor’s new tax plan while 34% disapprove and 28% remain undecided.
The tax code overhaul, which was passed by the Legislature earlier this month will raise rates for New Yorkers who make more than $2 million a year, but the Quinnipiac poll found that 40% of voters consider the plan a tax hike. Governor Cuomo managed to introduce and shore up support for the plan in a matter of days in a move that was hailed by many as a political masterstroke, but Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director Maurice Carroll speculates that same speed left many voters unsure about the overhaul.
“The speed in changing the state tax code has left a lot of New Yorkers confused. Most of the state is divided on the merits, with New York City voters more negative than not,” Mr. Carroll said.
Governor Cuomo’s approval rating stands at just 59% among New York City voters compared to 71% upstate and 76% in the suburbs. Many voters think they are getting a raw deal from Governor Cuomo’s–43% think the plan is unfair to to them and that same percentage said the rate increase for those making over $2 million salaries wasn’t high enough. Voters also complained of broken promises–47% said Governor Cuomo violated his pledge not to raise taxes and 42% believe the rapid passage tax deal went back on the governor’s vow to end government by “three men in a room” in Albany.
Despite voters’ complaints about the tax plan, Governor Cuomo is still clearly quite popular.
“Whatever they think about the tax deal, New Yorkers still love their governor. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval hits a new high, higher than we’ve seen since the post-9/11 approval ratings for Governor George Pataki,” Mr. Carroll said.