PUBLIC OPINION COURT
STATE CHARITY TAX CREDIT/NON-PROFIT ISSUES SESSION

JULY 1998

ENTRY SURVEY / EXIT SURVEY

 

1.) Have you/will you contribute to any charity in 1998?

YES 100% NO 0% 

2.) On average, how many charities do you contribute to in a year?

  0% NONE
77% 1 - 5
23% 6 - 10
  0% Over 10

3.) On average, how much do you contribute to charity in a year?

23% Under $50
  8% $51 - $100
15% $101 - $250
31% $251 - $500
15% $501 - $1,000
  8% Over $1,000

4.) What type(s) of charitable organizations do you generally support?

(Check all applicable categories.)
  5% Arts
  7% Education
11% Emergency Services
  4% Environment
18% Health
12% Poverty Assistance
  2% Public Policy
  5% Recreation
21% Religious
14% Youth Services
  0% Other Specify:

5.) Why do you give to charity?

15% You were asked to
26% It makes you feel good
33% You believe in the cause
10% A sense of religious obligation
  5% You get something out of it (dinner, golf)
10% You can claim a charitable deduction on your federal taxes 

6.) What factors influence your choice of which charities to support?

24% Personal involvement with the charity
13% Fundraising contact by the charity (direct mail, door-to-door solicitation, phone call)
18% You support the mission of the charity
13% The charity operates in your local community
11% The charity is supported by your place of work
18% The charity is supported by your church/synagogue
  3% Contributing to the charity allows you to claim a deduction on your federal income taxes

7.) Do you select your own charities to support, or do you simply determine the amount you wish to give and rely on a third party, such as an accountant or solicitation organization (United Way, SECA, etc.), to select your charities for you?

92% Select own charities
  8% Rely on solicitation organization
  0% Rely on accountant
  0% Other Specify:

 8.) To what extent does the ability to deduct charitable giving from your federal taxes affect the amount you give?

62% Never
38% Some of the time
  0% Most of the time
  0% Always

CHARITY TAX QUESTIONS: 

1.) Do you understand the difference between a TAX CREDIT and a TAX DEDUCTION?

YES 62%
NO 38%

2.) Do you think the government welfare system, or private charitable organizations are better able to deliver services which help the poor?

15% GOVERNMENT
  8% PRIVATE
46% BOTH IN PARTNERSHIP
31% NEITHER

3.) Do you support giving Pennsylvania taxpayers the opportunity, through a state tax credit, to voluntarily direct some of their tax dollars to the support of qualifying private charities which help the poor?

                    YES 85%
                       NO 0%
  DON'T KNOW 15%

4.) In determining the allocation of limited government funds, do you think a priority should be placed on assisting low income individuals over other types of charities, such as medical research, the arts, or organizations like the Humane Society or scouting programs?

                YES 46%
                NO   46%
DON'T KNOW 8%

5.) If you had $1,000.)00 to use to help the poor, would you give it to government to help fund state-run welfare programs, or would you give it to a private charity?

  0% GOVERNMENT
70% PRIVATE
15% BOTH IN PARTNERSHIP
15% NEITHER

6.) If a state tax credit were established to benefit organizations which primarily serve the poor, would it have:

62% No effect on your charitable giving
  0% Increase your charitable giving to poverty-related charities without reducing your giving to other
         types of charitable organizations
15% Shift your charitable giving to poverty-related charities
23% Unsure

7.) As a general rule, do you think it is good or bad for charities serving the poor to rely on government funding?

              GOOD 31%
                 BAD 46%
DON'T KNOW 23%

8.) Do you support the idea of a state tax credit which would allow you to subtract from you personal state income tax liability a portion of the money you contribute to government certified in-state charities which serve the poor?

        SUPPORT 69%
            OPPOSE 8%
DON'T KNOW 23%

9.) Do you think private charities serving the poor should be involved in politically-oriented activities, such as lobbying, voter registration, public policy advocacy, or legal assistance?

                    YES 46%
                     NO 23%
DON'T KNOW  31%

10.) As a general rule, do you think private charities serving the poor should rely primarily on individual donations, government funding, or a combination of both?

   INDIVIDUAL 38%
GOVERNMENT 8%
                BOTH 38% 
DON'T KNOW 15%

FEDERAL DEVOLUTION QUESTIONS:

1.) When it comes to providing social services, which level of government do you think operates most efficiently?

  8% FEDERAL
15% STATE
  8% LOCAL
54% NONE

2.) As the Federal government decreases its role in providing social services, who should fill the void? (Select one answer)

54% STATE GOVERNMENT
  8% COUNTY GOVERNMENT
  8% MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
  0% RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
15% SECULAR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
  8% COMBINATION
  8% NO OPINION

3.) Would you AGREE or DISAGREE with the establishment of a FEDERAL charity tax credit which would give a portion of the federal welfare budget to private, anti-poverty charities?

             AGREE 62%
         DISAGREE 0%
DON'T KNOW 38%

4.) Would you AGREE or DISAGREE with the establishment of an INDIVIDUAL TAX CREDIT on your FEDERAL taxes worth up to $100.)00 for those who want to contribute to a qualified charity.

             AGREE 54%
       DISAGREE 15%
DON'T KNOW 31%

5.) Would you FAVOR or OPPOSE ending faith-based (religious) restrictions on Federal funding for social services?

             FAVOR 23%
           OPPOSE 23%
DON'T KNOW 54%

6.) Would you FAVOR or OPPOSE legislation to provide a $500.)00 FEDERAL TAX CREDIT to people who care for needy members of society in their private residence?

             FAVOR 62%
           OPPOSE 15%
DON'T KNOW 23%

7.) Do you think the Federal government should extend liability coverage to medical volunteers providing free help to the poor?

                   YES 62%
                    NO 15%
DON'T KNOW 23%

8.) As devolution (the passing of programs from the Federal to state and local governments, and to private non-profit organizations) occurs, which type of programs do you think should be devolved to state/local governments?
(You may check as many categories as you wish.)

  9% ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
14% JOB TRAINING
19% ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
17% HOUSING
11% HIGHWAYS
14% SOCIAL SERVICES
11% POLLUTION CONTROL PROGRAMS
  5% SOCIAL SECURITY

9.) Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with the following statements:

A.) Government programs have actively undermined social networks and institutions.) Families, churches, synagogues and community groups have been forced to surrender their authority to function to bureaucratic experts; private charities have been displaced by government spending.)

15% Strongly Agree
38% Somewhat Agree
  0% Somewhat Disagree
15% Strongly Disagree
31% No Opinion

B.) The retreat of government does not always, at least immediately, result in stronger private organizations.

31% Strongly Agree
38% Somewhat Agree
23% Somewhat Disagree
  0% Strongly Disagree
23% No Opinion

C.) State governments are not the only alternatives to Federal power that deserve trust and resources.) We should pursue the transfer of power to both state governments and to private and religious organizations.

15% Strongly Agree
38% Somewhat Agree
23% Somewhat Disagree
  0% Strongly Disagree
23% No Opinion

D.) Don't you believe that if every kid in America in every difficult neighborhood in America were in a religious institution on weekends that the drug rate, the crime rate, the violence rate, the sense of self- destruction would go way down and the quality and character of this country would go way up?

31% Strongly Agree
38% Somewhat Agree
  0% Somewhat Disagree
15% Strongly Disagree
15% No Opinion

E.) Why should the Federal government give money to the states at all? If the state need funds, they have their own power to tax.

  8% Strongly Agree
23% Somewhat Agree
  8% Somewhat Disagree
46% Strongly Disagree
15% No Opinion

F.) The local level is where hope lies for doing something constructive about education and public safety and it is locally that individuals can make their views felt state governments are simply clones of the Federal bureaucracy.

  8% Strongly Agree
46% Somewhat Agree
23% Somewhat Disagree
  8% Strongly Disagree
15% No Opinion

G.) Devolving (passing down) entitlement programs would place an unthinkable burden on the states, a burden that only the Federal government is capable of carrying.

  8% Strongly Agree
23% Somewhat Agree
38% Somewhat Disagree
15% Strongly Disagree
15% No Opinion

Exit Survey

1.) Do you understand the difference between a TAX CREDIT and a TAX DEDUCTION?

YES 92%
  NO  8% 

2.) Do you think the government welfare system, or private charitable organizations are better able to deliver services which help the poor?

  0% GOVERNMENT
23% PRIVATE
77% BOTH IN PARTNERSHIP
  0% NEITHER 

3.) Do you support giving Pennsylvania taxpayers the opportunity, through a state tax credit, to voluntarily direct some of their tax dollars to the support of qualifying private charities which help the poor?

                  YES 31%
                   NO 54%
DON'T KNOW 15% 

4.) In determining the allocation of limited government funds, do you think a priority should be placed on assisting low income individuals over other types of charities, such as medical research, the arts, or organizations like the Humane Society or scouting programs?

                  YES 38%
                   NO 38%
DON'T KNOW 23% 

5.) If you had $1,000.00 to use to help the poor, would you give it to government to help fund state-run welfare programs, or would you give it to a private charity?

  0% GOVERNMENT
77% PRIVATE
15% BOTH IN PARTNERSHIP
  8% NEITHER 

6.) If a state tax credit were established to benefit organizations which primarily serve the poor, would it have:

69% No effect on your charitable giving
  8% Increase your charitable giving to poverty-related charities without reducing your giving to other types of           charitable organizations
15% Shift your charitable giving to poverty-related charities
  8% Unsure 

7.) As a general rule, do you think it is good or bad for charities serving the poor to rely on government funding?

               GOOD 23%
                  BAD 62%
DON'T KNOW 15% 

8.) Do you support the idea of a state tax credit which would allow you to subtract from you personal state income tax liability a portion of the money you contribute to government certified in-state charities which serve the poor?

SUPPORT         31%
OPPOSE           54%
DON'T KNOW 15%

9.) Do you think private charities serving the poor should be involved in politically-oriented activities, such as lobbying, voter registration, public policy advocacy, or legal assistance?

                 YES 46%
                  NO 54%
DON'T KNOW 0%

10.) As a general rule, do you think private charities serving the poor should rely primarily on individual donations, government funding, or a combination of both?

INDIVIDUAL        8%
GOVERNMENT 0%
BOTH              92%
DON'T KNOW 0%

11.) When it comes to providing social services, which level of government do you think operates most efficiently?

  0% FEDERAL
23% STATE
31% LOCAL
46% NONE

12.) As the Federal government decreases its role in providing social services, who should fill the void? (Select one answer)

38% STATE GOVERNMENT
  8% COUNTY GOVERNMENT
  8% MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
38% RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
  8% SECULAR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS 

13.) Would you AGREE or DISAGREE with the establishment of an INDIVIDUAL TAX CREDIT on your FEDERAL taxes worth up to $100.00 for those who want to contribute to a qualified charity.

             AGREE 31%
       DISAGREE 54%
DON'T KNOW 15%

14.) Would you FAVOR or OPPOSE legislation to provide a $500.00 FEDERAL TAX CREDIT to people who open their homes to care for needy members of society?

FAVOR            62%
OPPOSE          38%
DON'T KNOW  0%

FINALLY, WE'D LIKE TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOU . . .

 1.) Are you a:

    MALE 15%
FEMALE 85%

2.) Are you a:

DEMOCRAT        38%
REPUBLICAN 38%
OTHER                  15%
NOT REGISTERED  8%

3.) Your income level:

15% Under $20,000 per year
46% $20,000 - $30,000 per year
23% $30,001 - $40,000 per year
  0% $40,001 - $50,000 per year
  0% $50,001 - $60,000 per year
  0% $60,001 - $70,000 per year
15% $70,001 - $100,000 per year
  0% Over $100,000 per year 

4.) Your education level:

  0% No high school degree
46% High school graduate/GED
15% College-level courses, no degree
38% College degree
  0% Post-graduate degree 

5.) Your age:

23% 18 - 34
15% 35 - 44
46% 44 - 54
  0% 55 - 64
15% Over 65