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Poll outlines Murphy’s challenges

By David Wildstein

A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this morning demonstrates the difficult road Gov. Phil Murphy has ahead of him.  More than eight out of ten New Jerseyans (82%) are dissatisfied with the way state government has handled taxes, with 60% saying they are “very” dissatisfied.

New Jerseyan are unhappy with the state’s economy and “pessimistic” about the prospects for the future, with three-quarters of the state angry by government spending and cost of living.

“In a state that ranks near the top when it comes to outbound migration and taxation, it’s no surprise that New Jerseyans are upset with how state government is handling important financial matters – most of all, taxes,” said Dr. Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “It will be a challenge for Governor Murphy to balance fulfilling those of his campaign promises that require new resources with citizens’ current dissatisfaction with taxes and the high cost of living in the state.”

There was some good news for local government in the poll, rating their municipality better than the state.

For Murphy, who is mulling a millionaire tax that Gov. Chris Christie rejected, the poll shows the “itch” to move out of state has grown from 22% in 2010 to 30% now.  Millennials are one of the biggest flight risks, with more than a third wanting to move out of the state entirely.

New Jerseyans seem satisfied with the government’s policies on the environment and education but are mixed on service issues for senior and the poor, and on transportation and infrastructure. They also disapprove of the state’s management of Superstorm Sandy recovery, and on mental health and addiction issues.

Read the full poll here.

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