Nebraska Voters’ Outlook: Taxes, Spending, and the State Budget

“Nebraska Voters’ Outlook” is a public opinion research initiative of the Holland Children’s Institute. We are sharing findings from a statewide public opinion survey commissioned late this summer. The second release in the Nebraska Voters’ Outlook series reveals nearly 6 in 10 Nebraskans favor increasing revenue through some tax increases over cutting spending.

“These results build upon an undertone found in results of our research last fall, ‘Middle class families in Nebraska are being left behind.’ That sentiment also exists when it comes to Nebraska’s state budget,” said Hadley Richters, CEO of Holland Children’s Institute.

“Surprisingly, across the state voters point to a path for balancing the budget by increasing some taxes to raise revenue, rather than making cuts to spending for services,” said Richters. “We also see an overwhelming consensus in favor of more investment for a wide range of programs and services to support and grow the middle class, over tax breaks for corporations and large businesses.”

“Simultaneously, across the board voters agree – large corporations and the wealthy are not doing their part, paying less than their fair share in taxes,” said Richters, “while the middle class and average Nebraska families are paying their fair share or more.”

On approaches to balancing the state budget, nearly six-in-ten voters said they would prefer the state raise additional revenue through some tax increases (58 percent) rather than avoid any tax increases and make cuts to spending for programs instead (25 percent).

Additionally, the data reveals a wide consensus among Nebraskans for more state investment in core services and policy priorities, over tax breaks for corporations and large businesses. Strong majorities opted in favor investing more in services over providing corporate tax breaks:

  • Early childhood care and education (71 percent);
  • Job re-training services (69 percent);
  • Children’s healthcare (76 percent);
  • Higher education (58 percent);
  • Employment benefits (60 percent);
  • Roads and infrastructure (74 percent);
  • K-12 public education (75 percent),
  • Medicaid (65 percent); and
  • Mental health and addiction services (80 percent).

Nearly seven-in-ten Republicans (61 percent) favor increased state investment in early childhood care and education.

About the methodology:
TargetSmart designed and administered this telephone survey conducted by professional interviewers. The survey reached 600 adults, age 18 or older, who indicated they were registered to vote in Nebraska. The survey was conducted from July 25-29, 2018. The sample was randomly selected from TargetSmart’s enhanced voter file. The data were weighted by gender, age, party registration, and region by congressional district to ensure an accurate reflection of the population. The overall margin of error is ±4.0%. The margin of error for subgroups is larger and varies. Percentage totals may not add up precisely due to rounding. 

Find Methodology Here.