From the pollster's analysis: "As always, most respondents said the amount they pay in state taxes is relative to the 'amount and quality of services state government provides.' However, the proportion who said their state taxes were at least 'somewhat high' (57 percent) is the lowest since we first asked this question in 1988. The proportions saying their taxes were 'very high (24 percent) was the lowest since 1993."[pullquote]You know what came after 1993? 1994. [/pullquote]
Here's what Elway found when asked about "the amount you pay in state taxes." Green is "low," gray is "about right," pink is "somewhat high," and magenta "very high" tracked over time back to 1988.
And here's what Elway found when voters were asked if the money was "well spent" with judgments on "efficiency," "effectiveness," and "accountability." Magenta is no. Green is yes. The top of the chart is 2012 ... the bottom is 2006.
Cross referencing those numbers, Elway found:
22 percent felt taxes were "very high and not well spent"
27 percent felt their taxes were "somewhat high and not well spent"
15 percent felt their taxes were "about right and not well spent"
23 percent felt their taxes were "about right and spent well"
He adds that Washington State's typical "hard-core anti-tax community" is 25 percent—tacking closely to the 22 percent number here, although 22 percent is a slight dip.
I'll let you poll nerds have at it and figure out what it all means, but I've got two reactions. First, I'd like to see a cross tab on income level to see how the views of the poor, the middle class, and the rich break down.
Second, liberals shouldn't take Elway's analysis that "the proportions saying their taxes were 'very high' (24 percent) was the lowest since 1993" as a positive trend.
You know what came after 1993? 1994.