Lowman S. Henry
Robert W. Keibler
Jane R. Gordon
LeGree S. Daniels
Charles L. Huston, III
Focus Group Moderator
October 22, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lowman S. Henry / (717) 671-0776
SW PA VOTERS REJECTING SALES TAX INCREASE
Initiative to Fund Stadium Construction Behind by a Large Margin
Harrisburg (PA) -- Voters in
eleven southwestern Pennsylvania counties are rejecting by nearly a three-to-one margin a
proposal to raise state sales taxes in the region by one half of a percent to help fund
construction of new sports stadiums and other regional facilities.
The survey, conducted October 15th & 16th by the
Harrisburg-based Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research found 64% of the voters
surveyed planned to vote against the proposed sales tax increase while only 22% planned to
vote in support of initiative which will appear on the November 4th General Election
Other key findings:
* Ninety-six percent of those surveyed were aware of the fact that they will be asked to vote on the issue in the upcoming General Election.
* The appointment of a non-elected regional authority to control potential tax revenue collected from the regional sales tax was opposed by 45% of survey respondents. Twenty-eight percent favor such an authority while 27% offered no opinion.
* Very few voters believe the tax, if adopted, will be temporary. A total of 82% of the voters in the eleven-county region expect the tax will be permanent, while 14% believe the tax will be temporary.
* A plurality (43%) of survey respondents say they don't think the Pirates baseball team will move from Pittsburgh if a new baseball-only stadium is not built. Thirty-one percent think the failure to build a new stadium will result in the Pirates moving to another city, while 26% declined to give an opinion.
* Only 15% of voters surveyed say they think the Steelers football franchise will move to another city if a new stadium is not built to replace Three Rivers Stadium. Sixty-seven percent expect the Steelers to stay in Pittsburgh whether or not a new stadium is built.
* Governor Ridge's proposal to sell state liquor stores to private enterprise and then use the proceeds to construct new sports stadiums received support from just 37% of the voters surveyed by the Lincoln Institute. A majority of 52% opposed the idea.
"Basically what this issue
comes down to is that voters do not think sports stadiums should be financed with public
money," Henry explained. "A total of 79% of those surveyed told the Lincoln
Institute that new sports stadiums should be paid for with private dollars. Only 9%
support public financing of such facilities."
On another tax issue which will appear on the November 4th ballot, 43% of the voters in the eleven-county southwestern Pennsylvania region say they will vote to approve the so-called "Homestead Amendment" to the state constitution. The proposed amendment would allow business and residential properties to be taxed at different rates. Twenty-four percent said they oppose approval of the amendment. A significant percentage of voters, 33%, remain undecided on the issue.
The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc. is a non-profit educational foundation based in Harrisburg, PA. The Lincoln Institute's survey of voters in the eleven-county southwestern Pennsylvania region was conducted on October 15 and October 16, 1997 by Precision Marketing of Easton. A total of 336 voters were surveyed giving the survey a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.