Monday, February 25, 2013

Polls conflict on a tax increase

Roughly 10 years ago, I wrote a story about a poll that a controversial mayor – who really did almost bankrupt his city – had conducted. The results? Everything was fine and dandy.

In the story I quoted a fellow out at the University of Georgia. He was professor who studied this kind of stuff. He told me: “Weird people participate in these polls, so you really have to take them with a grain of salt.”

(He was referring to the people who answer the questions - not pay for them by the way.)

So, flash forward to earlier this month when local local businessman Randy Boyd and other Chamber of Commerce-types bankrolled a poll (900 people participated) that indicated broad-based support for improving education in Knox County and a willingness to pay for it.

Presumably the survey will serve as a reference tool for officials heading into this year's budget talks.

Well, I imagine the one released today will, too.

Knoxville Focus publisher Steve Hunley also bankrolled a poll, “using the exact same language as the poll reported by the Knoxville News-Sentinel.” He noted that his poll reached out to more than 1,100 likely voters.

He said they were asked the question: “Do you support a property tax rate increase if all the money goes to fund public education?”

The results? A whopping “Heck No!”

So, which one is correct? 

Who knows?

But never trust a weirdo. 

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