Sales Tax 01Even though GOP legislative leaders believe a local option sales tax for cities and counties won’t pass this session, three-fourths of Idahoans want it to, a new poll by Idaho Politics Weekly finds.

The survey also finds huge support for starting a preschool program in public schools.

And results of another poll question show most Idahoans want lawmakers to repeal the current criminal/civil faith healing exemption for parents of a deathly-ill child.

Those findings are part of an extensive statewide poll conducted for IPW by Dan Jones & Associates.

DJA finds:

-- 76 percent of Idahoans want the Legislature to pass a local option sales tax law, which would allow local city and county voters to decide for themselves whether they want to increase their sales tax slightly, the money going to fund things like transportation or a community center.

-- Only 20 percent don’t want the Legislature to act on this proposal. And 5 percent don’t know.

Such a sales tax bill has been proposed in the current Legislature, but GOP leaders doubt it will pass.

Idaho remains one of the few states in the nation that doesn’t have a statewide preschool program for children.

And Idahoans really want one; DJA finds:

-- 81 percent of voters say such preschool programs for four-year-olds should be offered.

-- Only 16 percent are against such a program.

-- 47 percent of men “strongly” support such a program, while 53 percent of women “strongly” want Idaho to join many other states and offer such preschoolers early education opportunities.

Finally, the battle over repealing the faith healing exemption – where parents can’t be prosecuted criminally or civilly if they don’t get an ill child treated, and he dies – is in the Idaho Legislature again.

DJA finds:

-- 50 percent of all voters say the exemption should be repealed – so that if a parent or parents refuse to get medical attention for a deathly-ill child, and the child passes away, then the parents could be charged with a crime and/or taken to court for civil damages.

-- 37 percent of Idahoans want to keep the so-called faith healing exemptions for parents.

The Legislature is dominated by Republicans, and newly-elected Gov. Brad Little is also a Republican.

So how Idaho Republicans feel on these issues is important.

Some of those partisan numbers:

-- Republicans favor the Legislature giving local governments the option of asking approval of their voters on a small, targeted sales tax, 73-23 percent.

-- Democrats and political independents are in favor of local option sales tax, as well.

-- Republicans favor public preschool, 74-24 percent. Democrats and independents want it, also.

-- However, Republicans are split over repealing the current faith healing parental exemption law, 44 percent in favor of repeal, 40 percent against.

Most Democrats and independents want the law repealed, 57-33 percent and 56-32 percent, respectively.

DJA polled 615 adults from Jan. 23 to Feb.4. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.