Voters support tax increase

RALEIGH Governor Perdue has proposed raising so called "sin taxes" as a way of helping balance the budget. She's calling for an increase in the cigarette tax from 35 cents per pack to $1.35 and a 5 percent tax surcharge on alcohol

She has called both luxury items and pointed to the tremendous burden on the state's health care system caused by cigarette smoking.

Some smokers and cigarette companies have cried foul, but poll results show they may be in the minority.

A survey of 979 North Carolina voters taken from April 8 to 11 showed that 60 percent support an alcohol tax increase. Only 35 opposed. It was a closer race on the cigarette tax issue. 53 percent said they approved of a dollar increase. 41 percent did not.

“Even with the economy as bad as it is voters are willing to accept some increases in their taxes,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “It’s up to folks whether they smoke and drink or not, and citizens seem to be more accepting of these sorts of opt in taxes than they would be about increases that hit everyone like income taxes.”

While support for her proposals is high, support for the Governor seems to be slipping. Her approval rating dropped in the last month. According to the Public Policy poll, 41 percent approve of the job she's doing while 40 percent disapprove. That split was 44 to 35 last month.

Public Policy said the poll's margin of error was +/- 3.1 percent.

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