A new survey from the Reason-Rupe Foundation reveals what may sound like common sense: the majority of American drivers are opposed to increased taxes on gasoline. The study of 1200 people found that 77 percent oppose an increase in the federal gas tax, while just 19 percent of respondents favor raising the tax.
Currently, the federal government levies an 18.4-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline sold. On top of that, each state can add its own fuel tax — which averages 22.68 cents per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fuel taxes are used to pay for transportation projects, like maintenance or construction of roads, bridges, and so on. Increasing taxes can help fund state and federal road projects, but also would cost drivers more at the gas pump.
Instead of raising fuel taxes to increase funding for transport projects, survey respondents said they favored per-use fees like toll roads. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said new roads should be paid for with toll roads, compared to 28 percent who said new construction should be funded by tax increases. Moreover, 65 percent of people said they think the government uses transportation funds “inefficiently.”
The survey found that Americans are somewhat less enthusiastic about public transportation; only 30 percent of respondents said governments should prioritize spending on public transport projects, compared to 62 percent who want transport spending focused on road and highway construction. Only 35 percent of those surveyed believe the federal government should invest in high-speed rail networks.
What do you think: would you rather pay for roads and highways at the gas pump, or through tolls collected on certain roads? Have your say in the comments section below.
Sources: Reason-Rupe Foundation, U.S. Energy Information Administration