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KENTUCKIANS OPPOSED TO BTU TAX, STUDY SAYS

 FRANKFORT, Ky., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Kentuckians overwhelmingly oppose the Clinton administration's proposed Btu tax, according to public opinion results released today by Associated Industries of Kentucky.
 The study, conducted by The Preston Group, Inc., found that Kentuckians are less supportive of the energy tax than of any other revenue source mentioned in the survey. Only 34 percent of the respondents support the president's Btu tax proposal, compared to 86 percent who support adding a 10 percent income tax surcharge on incomes over $250,000. Even freezing cost-of-living increases in Social Security for one year ranked higher -- 45 percent of Kentuckians supported this proposal.
 Opposition to the energy tax grows significantly when respondents are given additional information regarding the potential impacts of the tax. Without any qualifying descriptions, the tax is opposed by two-thirds of respondents. Opposition grows to 91 percent under the likely scenario of an annual $500 impact on Kentucky families from direct plus indirect costs.
 Telephone interviews were conducted with 801 adults, 86 percent of whom were registered voters in the state. The survey was conducted according to the proportion of Kentucky's total population in each county, and has a maximum sampling error of plus/minus 3.5 percent, according to the researchers.
 "As a state with many energy-intensive industries, Kentucky would be hit especially hard by a Btu tax," said Edward L. Holloway, president of Louisville, Ky.-based Associated Industries of Kentucky. "Using U.S. Department of Energy data, Kentucky consumed about 1,387.7 trillion Btus in 1990. If the tax proposal had been fully implemented at that time, it would have cost Kentucky residents and businesses $510.3 million in additional energy taxes. We conducted this research to find out if Kentuckians know about the president's proposal and to learn how they felt about the cost of the Btu tax. The results clearly show Kentuckians are overwhelmingly opposed to this tax."
 Eighty-two percent of Kentuckians believe that a Btu tax would raise prices significantly on a wide range of products. Fifty-six of the respondents believe the Btu tax would decrease the number of jobs. Fifty-three percent think the Btu tax would make American industry less competitive. By a margin of almost 4 to 1, Kentuckians think it will be a major blow to the coal industry.
 In response to a summary question of whether the Btu tax is good or bad for America, Kentuckians denounced it by a 2.2 to 1 margin, and more than one-third would think less of a senator or representative who voted for it, compared with only 8 percent who would think more of a senator or representative voting for it.
 Sixty percent of Kentuckians say they are familiar with President Clinton's economic plan. Overall, Kentuckians are evenly divided in how they feel about Clinton's approach regarding the economy -- 39 percent approve of his approach and 39 percent disapprove. Twenty-one percent have a mixed reaction.
 By a slight margin, Kentuckians believe the government must raise taxes to reduce the deficit, but, by a margin of 2 to 1, they believe Clinton's plan relies too heavily on tax increases and not enough on spending cuts. Only 43 percent of respondents think it is necessary for Congress to raise taxes. But, if taxes are raised, only 33 percent of Kentuckians have confidence that Congress will use part of the revenue to reduce the federal budget deficit. Clinton gets better marks. Fifty-two percent believe he will apply part of the additional revenue to reduce the federal deficit.
 Only 29 percent believe the national economy will get better during the remainder of 1993, 27 percent think it will get worse and 44 percent think it will stay about the same. However, if Clinton's economic plan is passed, fewer people think it will stay the same. Thirty-three percent of Kentuckians believe it will be worse and 33 percent think it will get better.
 When asked what they would change about Clinton's economic plan, the dominant answer from Kentuckians was to cut government spending.
 /EDITORS: For further survey information or to obtain a copy of the study, contact: Tommy Preston, president and chief executive officer, The Preston Group, 450 Old East Vine, Lexington, Ky. 40507, 606-231-7711./
 -0- 4/19/93
 /CONTACT: John Nichols of Associated Industries of Kentucky, 502-695-3305, or 502-491-4737/


CO: Associated Industries of Kentucky; The Preston Group ST: Kentucky IN: SU:

KC -- PG015 -- 7491 04/19/93 14:32 EDT
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Date:Apr 19, 1993
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