April 8, 2010
4/8: Majority of NYS Voters Think Economy Is Getting Worse
54% of registered voters in New York think the state’s economy is getting worse. 34% say it is staying about the same, and only 12% report it is getting better.
The proportion of voters who say the economy is deteriorating has grown. When Marist last asked this question in early February, 49% thought the economy was declining, 40% said it was staying about the same, and 11% believed it was on an upswing.
“Although some economic indicators suggest the worst may be over, this has not convinced New York voters that we’ve turned the economic corner,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
Voters in the suburbs and upstate are more pessimistic about the state of the economy than are those in New York City. 59% upstate and 58% in the suburbs think the state’s financial situation is taking a nosedive. In Marist’s February survey, 53% of the upstate electorate and 50% of suburban voters held this view. Looking at New York City, 43% believe the state’s economy is getting worse while 42% said the same in February.
While the state’s electorate has a somewhat dismal outlook on New York’s economy, they are a bit more optimistic about their personal financial situation. 59% say they expect their family finances to remain the same in the coming year while 22% report their financial picture will get better. 19% believe it will get worse. Little has changed from when Marist last asked this question in February. At that time, 56% reported their family finances would be steady, 26% believed they would get better, and 18% said they would get worse.
Many NYS Voters Expect Tax Refund … Half to Pay Bills
Seven in ten registered voters in New York State think they will get a tax refund from New York State this year while 30% believe they will owe additional taxes.
Voters under 45 years old are more likely to say they will be getting money back from the state than are those 45 or older. 74% of these younger voters compared with 66% of older members of the electorate believe they will get a refund.
What will voters who expect to get a refund do with their newfound funds? Half report they will pay bills with it, 35% say they will save it, and 15% plan to spend it.
Income and age come into play on this question. 60% of voters who make less than $50,000 annually report they will pay bills with their tax refund compared with 45% of those earning $50,000 or more. Looking at age, 54% of those under the age of 45 plan to pay bills with their refund, and 47% of those 45 and older say they will do the same. By more than a two-to-one margin, older voters — 21% — compared with younger ones — 9% — say they will spend their tax refund.
So, are New York voters early filers? Yes. More than three-quarters — 78% — do not wait until April 15th to send in their tax returns while 22% do.