A recent poll conducted by the San Jose, Calif.-based Mineta Transportation Institute stated 71% of U.S. residents would pay 10 cents more in the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax if that extra money was put toward federal transportation projects, TheHill.com reports.
The poll was conducted as the Oct. 29 deadline approaches for renewing federal infrastructure spending that has been debated throughout the year.
According to poll results, support for a 28 cents-per-gallon gas tax dropped to 31% if the money was used to “maintain and improve the transportation system” rather than “improve road maintenance.”
At its current rate, the gas tax brings in about $34 billion per year, while the level of federal spending on transportation is about $50 billion per year, TheHill.com reports. Transportation advocates have argued that a gas tax increase is an easy solution to close the gap, while many lawmakers have been reluctant about the tax increase.
An $8 billion patch was passed in July to reauthorize the collection of the gas tax to prevent a bankruptcy in the Department of Transportation’s Highway Trust Fund. This did not increase the tax and the trust fund is scheduled to run out this month.
A different proposal that taxes drivers based on how many miles they drive instead of gallons bought at the pump has been less popular with 24% support. The proposal is currently being tested in Oregon.
Click here for the full results of the Mineta Transportation Institute’s study.