Almost 60 percent of residents in a recent statewide poll have buyer's remorse over the  Stelly Plan repeal, saying it was a bad idea that contributed to the state’s budget shortfall.

Approved by lawmakers in 2002, the Stelly Plan cut state sales taxes for everyone and increased income taxes on wealthier taxpayers, but in 2008, the Legislature reinstated tax cuts for wealthier individuals but left the sales tax cuts in place. That move may have cost the state more than $600 million this budget year, according to The Times-Picayune.

The 2011 Louisiana Survey by the Louisiana State University Public Policy Research Lab from Jan. 18 to March 1 also found more people believe the state is heading in the wrong direction and are losing confidence that state government can address the problems.

The survey, which polled 725 residents over land-line telephones and cell phones, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

An overwhelming number of voters support so-called “sin” taxes: 85 percent favor increasing the taxes on gambling, 76 percent want an increase in the tax on alcoholic beverages and 73 percent support a higher tax on tobacco products.

Additionally, most people are more willing to consider tax increases when the revenue is dedicated to a specific purpose: 52 percent support an increase in the state gasoline tax if it is dedicated to improving roads, and 61 percent favor an increase in the state income tax if the revenue is dedicated specifically to state colleges or health care.

Read the T-P story here.

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