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UNF Poll: Voters Increasingly Support Half-Cent Pension Tax

Ryan Benk

If the election were held today, Duval County’s pension tax referendum would pass with 51 percent of voters’ support.

That’s according to a new University of North Florida poll.

The half-cent sales tax extension needs only a simple majority to pass.

When compared with a previous UNF poll in June, the most recent poll shows increasing support for the measure, which Mayor Lenny Curry has made his priority. In June, only 41 percent of voters said they’d support it.

Though opposition to the measure remained constant between the two polls, at about 33 percent, pollsters say undecided voters are making up their mind in favor of the tax extension. Eighteen percent remained unsure today, compared with 26 percent in June. 

Referendum 1 would extend an expiring half-cent tax as a dedicated pension funding source, and allow the city to defer tens of millions of dollars in payments until after it goes into effect in the year 2031. Critics point to the increased cost of deferring those payments and say it delays the problem for the next generation unfairly.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP