Sen. Fred Akshar Releases Results of 2021 Community Voice Survey

Senator Fred Akshar this week released the results of his 2021 Community Voice Survey.

“I want to thank the nearly 5,000 community members from across the 52nd Senate District for responding to our latest Community Voice Survey,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “As I’ve said from the start: The only way to properly represent the people in Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware counties is for me to actively engage and listen to them throughout the year.”

Earlier this year, Akshar distributed his latest Community Voice Survey via mail and email on issues ranging from the proposed suspension of the $400 million middle-class tax credit in Governor's Budget proposal, to legalizing recreational marijuana, to the current voter registration system, to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to continuing to defer rent and evictions. Responses were collected via his website, Akshar.NYSenate.Gov, with just digital responses received from nearly 5,000 local constituents voicing their opinions.

“Between the nearly 50 town hall events we've held across the 52nd Senate District and the yearly Community Voice Surveys we've released since being elected, we've done our best to stay actively engaged with the people I represent,” said Akshar. “Listening to constituents on a variety of issues helps inform my legislative decisions and priorities if and when those issues come before me in Albany. I sincerely value their input.”

A clear majority of respondents were in agreement on opposing the Governor’s budget proposals to suspend the $400 million middle-class tax credit (80% oppose), to extend the Hollywood tax credit (70% oppose) and to eliminate towns and villages from the state’s Aid to Municipality Program (87% oppose). The majority of respondents also oppose increasing the number of crimes eligible for cash-less bail (85% oppose) and think identification should be required at the polls on Election Day (73%). Respondents were more divided on legalizing recreational marijuana (47% support, 45% oppose).
 

“No matter my personal views on any issue, it's important for me to continually allow the people of the 52nd Senate District to weigh in, be heard and share the results,” Akshar said. “It's about continuing to be open and accountable to the people.”
 

Full Survey Results

 

How would you rate New York’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution?

  • Excellent- 2.9%
  • Good - 19%
  • Fair - 37%
  • Poor - 27%
  • Terrible - 13.8%

 

Have you received a COVID-19 Vaccine or do you plan to receive one when available?

  • Yes I have been vaccinated - 25%
  • No I have not received a vaccine but I plan to receive one in the future - 49%
  • No I do not plan on receiving a vaccine - 26%

 

Do you think the Governor’s emergency executive powers should be ended immediately, be ended on the original April 30 deadline or extended beyond April 30, 2021?

  • End the powers immediately and return to New York’s normal governmental structure - 64%
  • End emergency executive powers on April 30 - 13%
  • Extend the emergency executive powers beyond April 30, 2021 - 15%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 8%

 

Governor Cuomo has stated repeatedly that if the federal government does not provide at least $15 billion in federal aid to help close New York’s $15 billion budget deficit, he will sue the federal government. Do you support or oppose suing the federal government if $15 billion in aid isn’t provided to New York?

  • Support - 21%
  • Oppose - 65%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 14%

 

Do you support or oppose the Governor’s proposal to extend the $420 million Hollywood tax credit through 2026?

  • Support - 10%
  • Oppose - 70%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 20%

 

Do you support or oppose the Governor’s proposal to suspend the Middle Class Tax Credit this year, effectively costing tax payers $400 million with a total effective tax increase of $2.1 Billion through 2026?

  • Support - 10%
  • Oppose - 81%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 9%

 

Do you support the Governor’s proposal to provide 70% more in funding annually to the MTA than to the DOT? ($10.3 Billion vs. $5.95 Billion per year)

  • Support - 7%
  • Oppose - 78%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 14%

 

Do you support or oppose the Governor’s plan to eliminate Towns and Villages from the state aid to municipality program (AIM). Counties would be required to make up the lost aid through local sales tax collection funds.

  • Support - 4%
  • Oppose - 87%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 9%

 

Do you support or oppose continuing to defer rent and evictions?

  • Support - 32%
  • Oppose - 54%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 13%

 

Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana? The Governor projects $350 million per year in sales tax revenue.

  • Support - 47%
  • Oppose - 45%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 8%

 

Do you support or oppose the Governor’s proposal to create the new crime of “Domestic Violence,” in which anyone convicted of this crime shall be prohibited from purchasing a firearm?

  • Support - 52%
  • Oppose - 35%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 13%

 

Which of the following describes your thoughts on our current voter registration system?

  • The current system is sufficient - 20%
  • It is too difficult to access polls - 7%
  • Identification should be required at polls - 73%

 

Do you support or oppose increasing the number of crimes eligible for cash-less bail and the release of those arrested for dangerous crimes back into our communities with appearance tickets?

  • Support - 9%
  • Oppose - 85%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 6%

 

Several legislators have pushed a “single-payer” or “Medicare for all” healthcare system. Under this system, you would pay significantly more in taxes in order to receive health insurance through New York State instead of private insurance. Do you support or oppose single-payer healthcare?

  • Support - 18%
  • Oppose - 75%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion - 7%

 

What’s the most important issue facing New York?

  • Reducing the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations - 29%
  • Reopening businesses - 44%
  • Fully reopening schools - 17%
  • Closing the state budget gap  - 9%