A new poll of voters across Southeast Community College’s (SCC) service area shows broad opposition to the college’s $369 million bond measure. In a sampling of more than 1,900 registered and likely voters in Lancaster County, 54 percent opposed the measure, while only 31 percent supported. In a second sampling of 408 registered and likely voters across the other 14 counties in the SCC service area, 60 percent opposed with only 20 percent supporting. The polling was conducted via phone on behalf of the “Vote No 369” coalition on Oct. 25 and 26.
“The polling numbers confirm what we continue to hear from citizen taxpayers. There is not support for a $369 million property tax increase, which will equate to a half a billion-dollar tax increase with interest over the 30-year life of the SCC bond,” said Ansley Mick, a representative of the “Vote NO 369” coalition. “The numbers speak for themselves. Our coalition will continue to support taxpayers by bringing awareness about the costs of measure and to voters. Voting against this measure does not mean your opposed to education or SCC; it means you have legitimate concerns about property taxes.”
Further validating the findings in Lancaster Co. is a strong correlation between party affiliation of survey respondents and registered voters. The margin for error in the poll was plus/minus 2.23 percent.
“We wanted to know exactly what likely voters are thinking. In Lancaster County, 41 percent of voters are registered Republicans and 36 percent Democrats. In the Lancaster Co. survey, 42 percent surveyed were registered Republicans and 39 percent were registered Democrats. This poll is very reflective of the voting population,” said Mick.
In addition to sharing polling results, the “Vote NO 369” coalition also announced the REALTORS Association of Lincoln as the newest partner in the coalition of interests opposing SCC’s $369 million bond.
“While the REALTORS® Association of Lincoln acknowledges the outstanding work SCC does in educating members of our community, we simply cannot support a bond issue that will have such a large impact on Lincoln property owners over a 30-year period. If approved, Lincoln area home and land owners will see their taxes paid to SCC increase by 52%–an increase that could have a dramatic negative impact on the Lincoln housing market. A property tax increase of that significance will add to the difficulty experienced by first-time home buyers and could adversely affect growing families who are trying to step-up in the housing market. At a time when the city is trying to attract people to move to and stay in Lincoln, the dramatic increase in property taxes resulting from this bond will have the opposite effect,” said Brice Middleton, REALTORS Association of Lincoln, executive vice president.
Vote No 369 is a coalition of taxpayer interests opposed to the passage of the Southeast Community College’s proposed $369 million bond measure. Coalition partners include former Gov. Dave Heineman, State Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, State Sen. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo, State Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, Lincoln City Council Member Roy Christensen, the Lincoln Independent Business Association, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln, the REALTORS Association of Lincoln, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Soybean Association. For more information or to learn more about the Vote No 369 coalition visit www.voteno369.com or follow the coalition on Facebook or Twitter.