Fifty-eight percent support Youngkin’s proposal to suspend the gas tax for three months, a move Democrats blocked in the state Senate.
Opinions were also divided on the elimination of the 1.5% state tax on groceries. The General Assembly agreed to remove the tax this year, while resisting Youngkin’s call to remove an additional 1% levy imposed by cities and counties.
“Poll responses suggest what I’ve always said: the people are always ahead of the leaders,” former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, said in a written statement released with the poll results. He attributed public support for tax relief as “a direct response to rising inflation”.
Virginia General Assembly gives Youngkin mixed results on budget
The poll also found that 79% of Virginians support efforts backed by Youngkin and the General Assembly to increase funding for historically black colleges and universities. Fifty-five percent support efforts to expand lab schools in the state.
For many decades, state law allowed these K-12 schools to be established in partnership with public four-year colleges and universities offering teacher education programs. A budget compromise crafted by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and passed by the General Assembly in June includes $100 million for these schools.
The legislature also approved Youngkin’s budget amendment to allow private, nonprofit higher education institutions and those without teacher education programs to participate. But Senate Democrats blocked his efforts to add to the $100 million by diverting per-student funding from traditional public schools to lab schools.
The poll surveyed 813 Virginia adults on landline and cell phones between June 30 and July 9. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points.