Support for the three tax-cutting initiatives that will be on November's ballot continues to erode, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows, although more still favor the property tax initiative than oppose it.
Pollster Dan Jones found in his latest survey that 46 percent would vote for the property tax initiative - Initiative A - if the election were held today. Forty-four percent would vote against it and 10 percent didn't know, Jones found.Initiative B, which would roll back the 1987 tax increase, is now opposed by a majority of Utahns - 53 percent would vote against it, 40 percent would vote for it and 7 percent didn't now.
Initiative C, which would give an income tax credit to the parents of children in private schools, also would fail - 63 percent would vote against it, 29 percent for it and 8 percent didn't know - if the election were held today.
Just a month ago, Jones found that Initiative A had 49 percent support, 27 percent opposed it and 24 percent didn't know. Initiative B had 47 percent support, 41 percent opposed and 12 percent didn't know. Initiative C had 37 percent support, 49 percent opposed it and 13 percent didn't know.
Initiative A has always had the strongest support among citizens. That initiative would limit the tax on residential property to 0.75 percent of fair market value, limit the tax on all other property to 1 percent of fair market value and limit the growth in state and local governments.
The tax initiative movement is led by the Utah Tax Limitation Coalition, whose spokesmen are Greg Beesley and radio talk show host Mills Crenshaw. The Utah Taxpayers Association, with spokesman Jack Olson, support Initiative A. In addition, independent gubernatorial candidate Merrill Cook supports the initiatives.
Those opposed to the tax initiatives have organized as Taxpayers For Utah, and are led by former governors Scott M. Matheson and Cal Rampton. Also, gubernatorial candidates Ted Wilson and Gov. Norm Bangerter oppose the initiatives.
To find out who the voters are paying attention to, Jones listed those men, along with newspapers, TV and radio stations, and asked who had the most credibility.
Forty-four percent said Matheson was very credible, the highest of anyone listed. Wilson, Bangerter and Rampton followed with 28 percent, 25 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Few knew of Crenshaw, Beesley or Olson and, accordingly, they weren't given a lot of credibility.
Fifty-one percent gave newspapers some credibility, 52 percent gave TV stations some credibility and 41 percent gave radio stations some credibility in the initiative debate.
Definitely for 21 percent
Probably for 25 percent
Probably against 13 percent
Definitely against 31 percent
Don't know 10 percent
Definitely for 22 percent
Probably for 18 percent
Probably against 15 percent
Definitely against 38 percent
Don't know 7 percent
Definitely for 16 percent
Probably for 13 percent
Probably against 17 percent
Definitely against 46 percent
Don't know 8 percent
If the election for attorney general were held today, for whom would you vote?
David Wilkinson (Republican) 43 percent
Paul Van Dam (Democrat) 41 percent
Don't know 16 percent
Sample size: 900; margin of error plus or minus 3.2 percent