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Q poll: most worse off but optimistic, want tax cuts and fewer services

Florida voters say they are worse off than a year ago but upbeat about the year ahead, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today. These track previous polls the Miami Herald has done that show most voters managing their own situation well and think things will turn around.

The poll shows that 56 percent say family finances are “excellent” or “good,” and 43 percent say they are “not so good” or “poor.” A majority, though smaller at 31 percent, expect things to get better in the next year, while 21 percent say they will get worse and 44 percent say they will stay the same.

The message to legislators, however, is that 55 – 30 percent say they want to cut services rather than raise taxes to balance the budget. But voters don't like the across-the-board approach. By a 73 – 21 percent margin, voters prefer those cuts on a case-by-case basis. As for property taxes, 73 – 22 percent say it's time for another property tax cut and they want it through another referendum, rather than leave the job to the state Legislature.

Voters also blame local tax officials for failing to keep up with the real estate market: 64 percent say they are slower to reduce taxes than they were at raising them during the real estate bubble -- a clear indicator that voters wish they'd seen tax rollbacks during the boom years.

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