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Poll: 51 percent of LIers say Trump will be good for local economy

Donald Trump addresses his supporters on Long Island

Donald Trump addresses his supporters on Long Island during a campaign rally in Bethpage on April 6, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

A majority of Long Islanders think the region will benefit from President-elect Donald Trump’s economic policies, according to a new poll.

Fifty-one percent of local voters participating in a survey for the Long Island Association business group, to be released Wednesday, said Trump’s plan for the economy “will be good” for Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Thirty-three percent said Trump’s economic policies “will be bad” for the region. Fifteen percent said they didn’t know or had no opinion.

The poll respondents — 703 registered voters contacted in December by the Siena College Research Institute — were less confident that their personal finances would improve under Trump.

Forty-one percent said they expect to be better off in 2017 than they were last year.

Forty-three percent said they expect to be in the same financial position in 2017 as they were last year. Eleven percent expect to be worse off, and the remainder said they don’t know.

Timothy Moran, a survey respondent who owns a health care startup, said Trump’s vow to reduce taxes and government regulations would benefit Long Island.

“Deregulation, decreased [federal government] spending and providing more job opportunities I believe will help the economy grow as a whole,” said Moran, 34, of Huntington Bay.

He also said he supports Trump’s drive to cut taxes on small businesses because that will allow them to hire more people and to grow. He said he was impressed by the president-elect’s tough stance on companies that move operations from the United States to foreign countries, such as Carrier air conditioning and the Big Three automakers.

Another poll respondent, Dolores S. Faber, a retired professor of health, physical education and recreation at Nassau Community College, said Trump’s economic policies won’t help Long Island because they are designed to benefit the wealthy, not the middle class.

“I don’t think he’s that realistic, that knowledgeable,” said the 83-year-old Northport resident. “He sees Long Island as filled with upper middle class people . . . most of us are a little bit above middle class.”

Voters identifying themselves as Democrats or liberals were most likely to say Trump’s policies would be bad for the Island’s economy.

Republicans and conservatives were most likely to say the economy would benefit from the Trump presidency.

In both counties, a majority of voters — 50 percent in Nassau and 53 percent in Suffolk — said Trump’s plans would promote economic growth.

In the election, Democrat Hillary Clinton took 51 percent of the vote in Nassau and Trump had 52 percent of Suffolk’s vote, according to tallies from the boards of elections.

Siena pollster Don Levy said, “Many voters are saying, ‘I may not have supported Donald Trump on Election Day but I’m now somewhere between believing and hoping that his policies will be good for me, for my family, for Long Island.’ ”

Levy also said some voters were encouraged by the two-month run-up in the stock market since Trump’s victory.

The Special LIA-Siena College Long Island Voters Poll was conducted on Dec. 8 and Dec. 11-14. It was paid for by the LIA, the region’s largest business group, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

Levy said the limited impact any U.S. president can have on high property taxes — called a serious problem by 95 percent of the voters polled — may explain why more Long Islanders don’t expect to be better off financially in 2017.

LIA president and CEO Kevin Law said the region’s businesses and workers could benefit from Trump’s campaign pledges to spend on defense and improvements to roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

However, Law said the Island would be hurt if Trump reduces the amount that homeowners can deduct from their income tax bills for mortgage interest and property tax payments. The LIA has written to the president-elect asking that he not decrease the deductions.

To-do list for Albany

Issues that Long Island voters said were critical or very important for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature to focus on:

Environmental protection, 75%

Infrastructure development, 73%

Personal income tax reform, 66%

Ethics reform, 65%

Spending cuts, 58%

Business income tax reform, 55%

Estate tax reform, 51%

Source: Survey of Long Island Voters conducted by the Siena College Research Institute for the Long Island Association

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