Taxpayers don’t like footing the bill for publicly funded elections: poll

It took years for Albany to adopt public financing for elections — but voters are giving the reform a big thumbs down when told it will cost $100 million, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Siena College poll found that voters by a nearly 3-to-1 margin — 63 to 23 percent — oppose putting up that money each election to reduce the influence of big contributors by having the public pick up a lot of the tab through matching funds.

Gov. Cuomo and the legislature named a commission last month to come up with a public financing system by the end of year, in time for the 2020 elections.

The poll also found that voters weren’t thrilled at the raise Cuomo received this year to make him the highest paid governor in the country.

Cuomo’s salary jumped from $179,000 to $200,000 and will reach $250,000 by 2021.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed opposed the pay hike, while only 32 percent supported it.

The increase was based on recommendations of a pay commission, which also increased the salaries of legislators from $79,500 to $110,000 this year, going to $130,000 in 2021.

On other issues:

  • Sixty-two percent of voters supported the ban on grocery plastic bags that starts in March 2020, while only 33 percent were opposed.
  • Fifty-five percent said a new law eliminating cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges was good for New York, compared to 38 percent said it wasn’t.
  • By a 64-22 percent margin, voters backed the law making the 2 percent property tax cap permanent everywhere except New York City.
  • New Yorkers were split on the new law that requires all online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases from state residents. Forty-six percent were for it, 48 percent were opposed.
  • Congestion pricing in Manhattan’s business districts also split voters, with 41 percent calling it a good idea and 44 percent saying it should be shelved.

The Siena poll queried 735 voters from April 8-11 and has a plus or minus 4.1 percentage point margin of error.

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