Taxes, jobs, education and economic development stay the hot button issues in the Westchester County Executive’s race, according to a poll released Wednesday night by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
Incumbent Robert Astorino, a Republican, is running for re-election for the County Executive’s seat on Nov. 5 against Democrat Noam Bramson, who now serves as mayor of New Rochelle.
“The economy is top of mind and will be an important factor in this year’s election,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll, said in statement. “The Marist Poll conducted a similar survey with the Business Council four years ago when Astorino challenged three-term incumbent Andy Spano. The 2009 survey results provide a baseline for comparing residents’ view now and then.”
In the poll, 30 percent of adults said taxes are the top issue, while 21 percent listed jobs, 19 percent listed education and 12 percent said economic development. Only 7 percent listed housing while fewer than 5 percent listed poverty, crime and transportation.
Less than 1 percent said race relations.
About 21 percent of residents in the county believe the economy is getting better, which is 9 percent increase from when this question was asked in 2009. Only 16 percent of residents believe the economy is getting worse, which represents a 17 percent decrease from 2009.
Only 48 percent of resident believe the local taxes and fees they pay are fair, while 50 percent believe they are unfair. Out of the registered voter who were polled, 53 percent thought they paid an unfair share in local taxes and fees, while 46 percent believed they paid a fair share.
Sixty percent of homeowners polled believed they paid an unfair share of school taxes, while 38 percent said they paid fair share.
Some of the polls other findings revealed:
About 58 percent of those polled said their family’s financial picture will stay about the same in the year ahead, while 32 percent believe it will improve and 10 percent said it would get worse. In 2009, only 50 percent of those polled believed their financial status would stay the same for the year ahead, while 27 percent believed it would improve and 23 percent thought it would get worse.
69 percent of adults think Westchester is unaffordable for the average family, while 32 think it is affordable. Of those who believe the county is affordable, 30 percent who say it is reasonable and 2 percent believe it is very affordable.
70 percent of residents say they plan to stay in Westchester for the next five years, while 24 percent expect to move, and 6 percent are unsure. Among those planning to move, 48 percent listed economic reasons for their decision.
The rest of the poll results can be seen here.
In August, the Business Council of Westchester announced a partnership with the Marist Institute for Public Opinion to help identify issues and trends in the county.
“The Business Council of Westchester is pleased to partner with the nationally renowned Marist Institute in conducting this poll which provides valuable insight into the important issues to be addressed in the County Executive race,” Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Westchester Business Council, said in a statement.