LINCOLN INSTITUTE
of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

 Spring 2000 Keystone Business Climate Survey

 

1.) Generally speaking, do you have a positive opinion, a negative opinion, or no opinion on Governor Tom Ridge’s proposed $19.7 billion FY2001 state budget?

55%    POSITIVE
8%      NEGATIVE
37%    NO OPINION

2.) A number of business tax reductions are included in the Governor’s budget proposal, including a phase-out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT) over the next decade.  Do you view the ten-year phase out as taking too long, taking about the right amount of time, or should it be spread out over a longer period of time?

80%    TAKING TOO LONG
15%    ABOUT THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME
2%      SHOULD BE SPREAD OUT LONGER
3%      NO OPINION

3.
) How important to the vitality of Pennsylvania’s business climate is the proposed continuation of manufacturer’s exemption to the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax?

60%    VITALLY IMPORTANT
24%    SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT
5%      NOT VERY IMPORTANT    
11%    NO OPINION

4.) The Governor has also proposed a one-time $100.00 rebate to homeowners as a form of property tax relief.  Do you think this is an effective way to return a portion of the state’s budget surplus to taxpayers?

10%    VERY EFFECTIVE
41%    SOMEWHAT EFFECTIVE
48%    WILL HAVE NO EFFECT
1%      NO OPINION

5.) Do you think sales on the Internet should be subject to state sales tax?

45%    YES
54%    NO
1%      NO OPINION

6.) There is a proposal before the state legislature to eliminate the state sales tax and raise earned income taxes to make up for the revenue loss as a way of dealing with sales tax revenue being lost by increasing Internet sales (which are not currently subject to sales taxation).  Do you favor or oppose such a proposal?   

  7%    STRONGLY FAVOR
12%    SOMEWHAT FAVOR
  4%    NO OPINION
  5%    SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
62%    STRONGLY OPPOSE

7.) Would you favor or oppose eliminating real estate/property taxes as a means of funding local school districts and compensating those districts through an increase in state earned income taxes?

15%    STRONGLY FAVOR
31%    SOMEWHAT FAVOR
7%      NO OPINION
15%    SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
32%    STRONGLY OPPOSE

8.) Would you favor or oppose eliminating real estate/property taxes as a means of funding local school districts and compensating those districts through an increase in state sales taxes?

19%    STRONGLY FAVOR
26%    SOMEWHAT FAVOR
6%      NO OPINION
16%    SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
33%    STRONGLY OPPOSE

9.) Do you think there should be further reductions in Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax?

82%    YES   
14%    NO
4%      NO OPINION

10.) Do you think Pennsylvania rate of personal income taxation should be reduced?

60%    YES
35%    NO
5%      NO OPINION

11.) Do you support Governor Ridge’s proposed tax amnesty period to enable shoppers to buy computers tax free?

38%    SUPPORT
40%    OPPOSE
22%    NO OPINION

12.) Due to the booming economy, Pennsylvania’s state revenue surplus has been growing despite the fact state spending has also increased dramatically. How important is it for state government to begin cutting back on spending?

58%    VERY IMPORTANT
35%    SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT
4%      SOMEWHAT UNIMPORTANT
3%      VERY UNIMPORTANT
0%      NO OPINION

13.) Would you support changes to Pennsylvania tax law creating a state TAX CREDIT for private contributions made by businesses and individuals to support public and/or private schools?

31%    STRONGLY SUPPORT
40%    SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
12%    NO OPINION
7%      SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
10%    STRONGLY OPPOSE

14.) Given a choice between a VOUCHER system that would allow parents to chose a public or private school for their child, or a TAX CREDIT for contributions made to public and/or private schools, which would you prefer?

46%    VOUCHERS
33%    TAX CREDITS
15%    COMBINATION
6%      NO OPINION 

 

SECTION II

1.) In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same or worse than they were six months ago?

26%    BETTER
68%    SAME
5%      WORSE
1%      NO OPINION

2.)  Looking ahead six months, do you think business conditions will be better, the same or worse than they are now?

17%    BETTER
61%    SAME
20%    WORSE
2%      NO OPINION

3.) Are employment levels at your company higher, the same or lower than they were six months ago?

39%    HIGHER
47%    SAME
14%    LOWER

4.) Looking ahead six months, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same or be lower?

38%    HIGHER
53%    SAME
9%      LOWER

5.) Have your company’s sales increased, stayed relatively the same or decreased during the past six months?

54%    INCREASED
30%    SAME
15%    DECREASED
1%      NO OPINION

6.) Do you expect your company’s sales to increase, stay relatively the same or decrease during the coming six months?

58%    INCREASE
36%    SAME
6%      DECREASE

7.) At any point in the past six months has your company considered moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

5%      DID MOVE SOME OPERATIONS
15%    CONSIDERED MOVING SOME OPERATIONS
4%      CONSIDERED MOVING ALL OPERATIONS
0%      MOVED OPERATIONS INTO PENNSYLVANIA
76%    DIDN’T CONSIDER ANY MOVES

8.) Do you foresee at any point in the coming six months your company considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

2%      MAY MOVE ALL OPERATIONS
20%    MAY MOVE SOME OPERATIONS
75%    NOT CONSIDERING ANY MOVES
0%      MAY MOVE OPERATIONS INTO PENNSYLVANIA

9.) In general, do you have a positive, negative or no opinion of the job performance of the following individuals?

President Bill Clinton

19%    POSITIVE
75%    NEGATIVE
6%      NO OPINION

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan

86%    POSITIVE
9%      NEGATIVE
5%      NO OPINION

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter

35%    POSITIVE
39%    NEGATIVE
26%    NO OPINION

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum

63%    POSITIVE
18%    NEGATIVE
19%    NO OPINION

Governor Tom Ridge

84%    POSITIVE
7%      NEGATIVE
9%      NO OPINION

10.) In general, do you have a positive, negative or no opinion of the job performances of the following institutions
?  

United States Senate

37%    POSITIVE
47%    NEGATIVE
6%      NO OPINION

United States House of Representatives

37%    POSITIVE
47%    NEGATIVE
16%    NO OPINION

Pennsylvania Senate

45%    POSITIVE
32%    NEGATIVE
23%    NO OPINION

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

47%    POSITIVE
39%    NEGATIVE
14%    NO OPINION


The Lincoln Institute’s Spring 2000 Keystone Business Climate Survey was mailed on March 10, 2000 to a random sample of 4,000 Pennsylvania businesses employing 100 or more individuals within the Commonwealth.

A total of 203 responses were received by the March 31, 2000 reply deadline.