Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

December 4, 2012

Wisconsin residents: 2-to-1 margin favor education funding over tax cuts

Filed under: Public Education,School Finance,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 8:43 pm


Wisconsin Economic Scorecard

The Wisconsin Economic Scorecard is a quarterly poll of Wisconsin residents conducted by the UWM Center for Urban Initiatives and Research (CUIR), in cooperation with Milwaukee public radio station WUWM and This tracking poll measures perceptions of the health of Wisconsin’s economy as well as personal economic circumstances of Wisconsin residents. The October 2012 Wisconsin Economic Scorecard was a random digit dial (RDD) landline/mobile telephone survey of 472 Wisconsin residents, conducted by the CUIR Survey Center at UWM from October 22‐25. The sampling margin of error is ±4.5% at the 95% confidence level.


Major findings:

Wisconsin residents would prefer state revenues to be spent on additional funding for education over receiving tax cuts by a 2-to-1 margin (56.9% to 27.3%).


Feature: Opinions on uses for increased state revenues

In light of improved state revenues, state officials are looking at how to allocate those tax dollars in the next state budget. Proposals being considered include income tax cuts and increased funding for education. Respondents were asked about their preferences regarding the ultimate use of this extra flexibility in the upcoming budget. Figure 13 shows that Wisconsin residents prefer increased funding for education over income tax cuts by a 2‐to‐1 margin (56.9% to 27.3%). About 16% of respondents indicated that they would prefer those tax dollars be allocated in some other way.


A number of variables are related to how respondents say they would prefer these tax revenues to be allocated. While every age group preferred increased funding for education over tax cuts or other programs, that preference weakened as age increased; 73.1% of respondents aged 18‐29 preferred increased revenues be spent on education, but just 47.9% of those aged 60 and up agreed. Women preferred education funding over tax cuts 64%/23%, while men were split 50%/31%. Those with children under 18 living in the household preferred education funding over tax cuts 63%/23%, while those in households without children were split 54%/29%. However, the most influential variable when it came to shaping opinion on how tax revenues should be allocated was party identification. Figure 14 shows that Democrats preferred education spending to tax cuts by 89%/6%, while just 30% of Republicans supported education spending and 51% preferred tax cuts. Political independents favored education spending over tax cuts 50%/28%.


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