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Majority favors museum bond, poll shows

Published October 30, 2010 2:03 pm

Proposition 1 • Women, non-LDS voters more favorable toward measure.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A ballot measure that would raise property taxes to help pay for the new Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah appears likely to pass on Tuesday, according to a poll conducted for The Salt Lake Tribune.

Proposition 1 would authorize Salt Lake County to issue up to $15 million in bonds. It would raise property taxes within the county by $2.40 on a house valued at $265,000.

Slightly more than half of the 475 Salt Lake County residents who participated in the poll said they favor the measure. The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. from Oct. 25-27, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percent.

The $15 million bond would supplement $86 million raised by public and private sources to build the replacement museum near Red Butte Canyon, scheduled to open in another year. The current museum, on Presidents Circle at the University of Utah, was deemed inadequate to showcase all of the museum's holdings.

According to the poll, Proposition 1 is more popular with women than men. About 55 percent of women polled said they support the measure. Only 46 percent of men said they favored it.

Cheryl Taylor of Sandy is among the supporters.

"I just think it would be beneficial," she said. "And that is not very much at all ­— $2.40 is nothing."

Roger Gubler of West Valley is like-minded. "I think it's a good idea. To me, it's worth it."

The measure also is more popular with Democrats than Republicans. Of those polled who identified themselves as Democrats, 70 percent said they will vote for the bond. Only 41 percent of Republicans polled said they favored the measure.

People who are opposed to the measure cite the poor economy as a factor.

Last last week, a group of conservative state legislators spoke out against the proposition. Among them was Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, who objects to the timing.

"I just don't believe in a time when unemployment is at its highest in decades that it's appropriate to raise taxes," he said on Friday.

Cozi Ferree, of West Jordan, agrees.

"I think someday it will be a fabulous idea," she said. "But with the economy right now, I think it's something that should be put on hold."

And Tom Hinnen of West Jordan said, "I oppose it, completely."

He favors public support of roads, fire departments and police stations. "When we are in a recession, I don't think the public needs to pay for things that aren't necessities."

Of independent voters polled, 49 percent did not favor the bond. About 43 percent said they would support it.

In addition, non-LDS voters favor Proposition 1 by a far wider margin than do LDS voters, according to the poll. Of non-LDS voters questioned, 67 percent said they would vote for the museum bond. Only 39 percent of LDS voters said they favored the measure.







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