Most Americans support 10 cent gas tax hike, polls show

Most Americans support 10 cent gas tax hike, polls show

More than 70 percent of poll respondents said they would support a gas tax increase of 10 cents per gallon to improve road maintenance, according to a recent study by the Mineta Transportation Institute. The survey of 108 polls found that the majority of Americans would support a gas tax increase under specified conditions. If the gas tax were used to pay for undefined transportation problems, only 31 percent would support an increase.

The polls asked about general support only, not about specific proposals. But, the studyês authors write, the results are still notable in light of how often politicians and commentators say the public would not support a gas tax. The groups that showed the greatest support for a gas tax increase: Asians and Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Latinos and young people.

The federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993. Several states have raised their gas tax — including Maryland and Virginia — as part of comprehensive transportation bills in the past two years. The Highway Trust Fund has consistently fallen short of revenue needed for transportation funding. In large part because of the difficulty in finding a reliable source of funding, Congress has passed 34 short-term transportation bills in the past several years. The current stopgap measure expires October 29.

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