Three in five New Yorkers (60 percent) say the state is on the wrong track, up from 55 percent earlier this year, according to the latest Empire Index poll of registered voters by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

The survey of 1,003 New York registered voters (margin of error: 3 percent) was conducted by Morning Consult. The toplines and crosstabs can be viewed here. The poll follows up on earlier opinion research conducted by the Empire Center in January and February. 

Notable findings on taxes and spending included the following:

  • Asked whether their tax dollars “are put to good use” by the federal government, only 25 percent said “yes” (61 percent said “no”). New York state government received slightly better marks, with 33 percent “yes” compared to 53 percent “no.” Respondents were more favorable about their local governments, with 45 percent of New York City residents and 44 percent of other New Yorkers indicating their local government puts funds to good use. 
  • The property tax cap, which limits the rate at which property taxes rise in the counties outside New York City, remains overwhelmingly popular, with 67 percent of voters in those counties either strongly or somewhat supportive compared to just 12 percent who strongly or somewhat oppose the 2011 law. 
  • Asked whether their local school district spends “more, less, or about the same as other school districts nationwide,” 33 percent of New Yorkers said their school district’s spending is “about the same” and a total of 14 percent said “somewhat less” or “much less.” (Every school district in New York spends more than the national average).

Two-thirds of voters (66 percent) supported allowing doctors licensed in other states to practice medicine in New York, with just 20 percent opposed—a reform that Albany lawmakers have resisted.

The poll also found 72 percent of New Yorkers have received care from either a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, healthcare roles that could potentially be expanded by the Legislature to make care more accessible and less costly.

Asked about their family’s experience with the healthcare system, 70 percent of respondents described the “overall quality of healthcare” as “good” or “excellent.” Hospitals also received high marks, with 69 percent saying experiences had been “good” or “excellent.” Nursing homes and assisted living centers fared less well, with 38 percent rating experiences as “fair” or “poor.”

Following up on questions in the first Empire Index: 

  • Asked what respondents would be “willing to pay on your monthly energy bill for cleaner energy,” a total of 62 percent indicated less than $20, with 33 percent saying “nothing” and 17 percent saying “more than nothing but no more than $10 per month.” The total in the previous Empire Index was 60 percent. 
  • 46 percent of respondents hadn’t heard of or weren’t familiar with the concept of “school choice” in education, down from 51 percent earlier this year.

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