Only one in 10 North Carolina voters support a sales tax on groceries, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey, and many appear uninterested in the House and Senate tax plans.
The Senate tax plan would levy a 6.5 percent state and local sales tax on food -- 14 years after state lawmakers repealed it. Local governments currently can tax food at 2 percent but the state doesn't received the revenue.
The Democratic firm's poll of North Carolina voters found that 81 percent oppose the Senate's idea and another 9 percent are undecided. The House tax plan doesn't touch the food tax.
Asked if they support the Senate's tax plan (without description of what it did), 44 percent opposed the plan and another 42 percent were undecided. Only 14 percent support it. Likewise, the House plan -- which debuted Thursday -- fared about the same with just 11 percent supportive and 41 percent opposed. Another 48 percent were undecided.
The numbers echo anecdotal interviews with numerous taxpayers about the tax overhaul that found widespread concerns, even among those who would save money. Together, they illustrate the persuasion campaign state lawmakers may need to convince a skeptical public.
When told about certain components of the Senate and House tax plans, voters' opinions shifted the numbers further against it, but how a plan is described could sway the numbers. For instance, a poll from the Civitas Institute, which is supporting the Republican tax overhaul, found support for the Senate's strategy when they described it in favorable terms. It all depends on the wording.