Recent polls show voter support in two states considering gas tax increases to generate needed transportation funding.
A Dan Jones & Associates survey has found a majority of Utah voters support some form of fuel tax increase to fund road construction and maintenance. The March poll, conducted on behalf of Utah Policy, surveyed 406 registered voters over a three-day period, with a margin of error of +/- 4.86 percent. While 33 percent were opposed to a gas tax increase (a decrease from a poll conducted at the beginning of the year, which showed 37 percent opposed), 28 percent supported a 10 cents-per-gallon increase, 19 percent preferred to adopt a new formula with a sales tax for the state’s gas tax, and 8 percent wanted a ‘different kind of fuel tax increase’. In total, 55 percent of respondents were in favor of some sort of state gas tax increase.
A March 4 Winthrop Poll asked 1,109 South Carolina residents if they would support legislation to increase the state gas tax by 10 cents-per-gallon in order to fund infrastructure projects. The margin of error for the week-long phone survey was approximately +/- 3% at a 95% confidence level. The poll found 55.4 percent of total respondents would support the proposal. This demonstrates a positive shift in the state’s perception of a gas tax increase when compared to an October 2014 Winthrop Poll, which showed 52.3 percent of respondents opposed a similar proposal.
To view questions and results from the entire poll, visit: http://www.winthrop.edu/winthroppoll/default.aspx?id=9804
Other polls conducted this year have indicated voters are receptive to raising state gas taxes. In Georgia, another state considering a legislation to increase the state gas tax, a poll released Feb. 15 found a majority of Georgia voters support a state gas tax increase in order to fund transportation projects. Additionally, 52.8 percent of respondents in a Feb. 3 Iowa survey supported legislation to increase the state gas tax by 10 cents-per-gallon; that legislation was signed into law three weeks later.