A Brigham Young University political scientist who directed an exit poll during November's election will explain the failure of the tax initiatives to legislators at 2 p.m. Jan. 9, shortly after Gov. Norm Bangerter opens the legislative session.
David Magleby, who directed the KBYU/Utah Colleges exit poll, is a national expert on initiatives and referendums.The poll indicated that Utah voters didn't trust election-year rhetoric and turned down tax cuts rather than give up the "status quo." Magleby said Utah voters rejected the idea of tax reductions and rollbacks because they didn't feel services could be maintained while cutting taxes.
Magleby said his findings do not mean that Utahns like taxes. "Utah voters dislike taxes, especially the property tax. But the fact remains, they were given a chance to lower taxes at the risk of cutting services, and in large majorities they voted not to."
Magleby's findings indicated the "powerful message of the voters was that the initiatives went too far. Utahns sent a message to the Legislature affirming the present level of commitment to public education and higher education."
The KBYU/Utah Colleges exit poll is the only poll in Utah that has the manpower to cover the entire state throughout election day, increasing its accuracy.
It involved 500 students from Utah State University, Brigham Young University, Weber State University, Dixie College, Southern Utah State College, Snow College and the College of Eastern Utah. More than 4,500 voters were polled after they cast ballots. The poll was on target in calling the presidential race, Utah's gubernatorial and attorney general races and other decisions, Magleby said.