On The Floor

2019 KACo Policy Poll RESULTS

Jennifer Burnett
11/15/2019

During the 2019 KACo Annual Conference, elected officials in attendance were asked to answer a series of policy-focused questions.

Download a copy of the survey results HERE.

A total of 299 elected officials voted out of the 454 in attendance – a turnout rate of 66 percent.*

Highlights

  • The office most heavily represented in turnout was County Judge/Executives – 63 percent of Judges in the state voted in the survey. The second most heavily represented office was Magistrates/Commissioners, with 32 percent of officeholders voting.
  • More than one-third of voters were in their first term in office.
  • A strong majority of voters (more than 70 percent):
    • Support a gas tax increase with nearly half supporting at least a 10 cent increase
    • Would like the ability to approve special district tax rates
    • Support some form a legalization of marijuana with more than half (56 percent) supporting legalization of medicinal marijuana
  • A majority of voters (at least 50 percent):
    • Would be somewhat or very likely to levy a local sales tax in their county
    • Think preserving employee benefit levels was somewhat or far more important than cost when it comes to public pensions
    • Indicate that jail costs are the biggest pressure on county budgets
    • Support lowering the state income tax rate and raising the sales tax rate

*Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to rounding.

Elected Official Representation

The office most heavily represented in turnout was County Judge/Executives – 63 percent of Judges in the state voted in the survey. Magistrates/Commissioners were second with 32 percent of officeholders voting and PVAs were third with 13 percent.

Policy Questions

Q3: Estimate the percentage of county roads in need of moderate to significant repair in your county.

A majority of voters indicated that more than 40 percent of county roads were in need of repair and one-quarter of voters said that more than 60 percent of their roads needed repair.

Q4: Do you support raising the gas tax to increase funding for local roads and bridges?

An overwhelming majority of voters – 93 percent – support a gas tax increase with nearly half supporting at least a 10 cent increase in the gas tax.

Q5: If made available as an option, would you vote to levy a local sales tax of up to 1 percent in your county if there were no restrictions on the use of that revenue?

62 percent of voters said they would be somewhat or very likely to levy a local sales tax in their county while 38 percent indicated they were somewhat or very unlikely to support such a tax.

Q6: Would you like your fiscal court to have the ability to approve special district tax rates (e.g. libraries, extension, health, etc.)?

A strong majority of voters – 76 percent – indicated that they would like the ability to approve special district tax rates.

Q7: When it comes to public pensions, which is more important to you – preserving the level of benefits for employees or how much those benefits cost the county to maintain (i.e. contribution rates)?

A majority of voters – 61 percent – indicated that preserving employee benefit levels was somewhat or far more important than cost when it comes to public pensions.

Q8: Which of the following changes to state tax rates do you support?

A strong majority of voters – 69 percent – indicated that they support lowering the state income tax rate and raising the sales tax rate among the tax reform options listed.

Q9: Which of the following is putting the most pressure on your county’s budget?

A majority of voters indicated that jail costs are the biggest pressure on county budgets – 53 percent – followed by employee pensions (19 percent), road maintenance (11 percent), employee health care (7 percent), ambulance service (7 percent), other (2 percent) and law enforcement (2 percent).

Q10: What level of legalization of marijuana would you support?

A significant majority of voters – 73 percent – supported some form a legalization of marijuana with more than half (56 percent) supporting legalization of medicinal marijuana only.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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