2018 Louisiana Survey: Addressing “Fiscal Cliff” through Income Tax Changes More Popular than Sales Tax Changes

As lawmakers mull over Louisiana’s structural budget deficit, where do the people of the state stand on the fiscal challenges? The 2018 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, reveals what Louisianans think about state taxes, spending, and the “fiscal cliff.”

This is the second in a series of six releases on results from the 2018 Louisiana Survey.

2018 Louisiana Survey: Louisiana Disillusioned with State’s Politics

The 2018 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, reveals many signs that the people of Louisiana are disillusioned with the state’s politics. The call for elected leaders to compromise with those they disagree with is on the rise, but few state residents believe their leaders will actually work together. Pessimism about the state is also on the rise as the share of residents saying the state is heading in the wrong direction increased by ten percentage points since last year. At the same time, few state residents trust state government or the political wisdom of their fellow Louisianans.

This is the first in a series of six releases on results from the 2018 Louisiana Survey.

The Louisiana Survey

The Louisiana Survey is sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs in Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication. The survey has been conducted each year since 2003 and twice in 2006, establishing rich longitudinal measures of public opinion in Louisiana. The mission of the Louisiana Survey is to establish benchmarks as well as to capture change in residents’ assessments of state government services.  The survey is further dedicated to tracking public opinion on the contemporary policy issues that face the state.  Each iteration of the Louisiana Survey contains core items designed to serve as barometers of public sentiment, including assessments of whether the state is heading in the right direction or wrong direction, perceptions about the most important problems facing the state, as well as evaluations of public revenue sources and spending priorities.

Community Resilience Study

Louisiana, and the Baton Rouge metropolitan area in particular, endured a series of tumultuous events in the summer of 2016, including the shooting of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police officers, protests in response to this shooting, the murders of law enforcement officers Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald, and unprecedented flooding.

To better understand how residents of Louisiana have reacted to these events and the profound social issues they raise, the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University commissioned the Community Resilience Study. The study consists of a survey administered to a statewide sample of adult Louisiana residents as well as a sample of residents in the metro Baton Rouge area: East Baton Rouge Parish, Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based system of health surveys to collect information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. More than 350,000 adults are interviewed each year, making the BRFSS the largest telephone health survey in the world. For many states, the BRFSS is the only available source of timely and accurate data on health-related behavior. The data help states identify emerging health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and evaluate public health policies and programs. Many states also use BRFSS data to support health-related legislative efforts. The Public Policy Research Lab administers the BRFSS for two states: Louisiana (since 2008) and Tennessee (since 2014).