Americans, it seems, are opposed in big numbers to increasing gasoline taxes to help finance highway and bridge improvements or construction of more mass transit systems, according to a new Gallup Poll
The survey of 1,018 adults taken April 9-10 found that a huge majority of 66 percent of respondents would vote against a gasoline tax, while only 29 percent would support it.
The poll was taken two weeks after Maryland’s legislature passed the first gas tax increase in 20 years. The revenue from that hike are earmarked for infrastructure and mass transit projects. Analysts predict it will push gas prices 13 to 20 cents per gallon higher by mid-2016.
At least 17 other states — some Democratic-controlled and some Republican-controlled —
have recently approved or are considering gas tax or fee increases to finance infrastructure and mass transit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In the Gallup survey, 40 percent of Democrats said they would vote for an increase in the gas tax, while 30 percent of independents and 15 percent of Republicans said they would support it as well.
“It is not clear whether Americans' lack of support for this proposal stems from the type, amount or purpose of the tax,” Gallup’s Alyssa Brown said in statement released with the poll. “Americans may be opposed to increasing the price of gas — a necessary commodity for many individuals — during a fragile economy, regardless of how the resulting funds are used.”
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