Management & Operations

Americans support higher gas taxes, spending revenue on public transit

Posted on June 28, 2016

Americans are willing to pay increased taxes if the revenue is invested in specific transportation improvements, according to the results of a new Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) national telephone survey.

The report, “What Do Americans Think About Federal Tax Options to Support Public Transit, Highways, and Local Streets and Roads? Results from Year Seven of a National Survey,” reveals that support depends on how the tax is structured and described, with some options supported by a majority — or even a supermajority — of Americans. The survey is year seven of an annual series that repeats the same questions each year. This year’s results show that support for raising transportation taxes has grown over the past six years.

The study, available for free here, was conducted by Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD, and Hilary Nixon, PhD.

“Conventional wisdom says that Americans strongly oppose any increase in the federal gas tax,” said Dr. Agrawal. “However, this survey shows that more than half of Americans support a federal gas tax increase if the revenue is dedicated to improving maintenance, safety, or the environment.”

Key 2016 findings related to increasing taxes include:
  • Of the 10 transportation tax options tested, six had majority support.
  • Linking tax increases to safety, maintenance, or environmental benefits increased support by at least 10 percentage points among almost all the sociodemographic groups tested.
  • Support levels varied considerably by the type of tax. When taxes were described with no information other than the tax type, a new sales tax was much more popular than either a gas tax increase or a new mileage tax.
  • Looking across the seven years of survey data, support for all the taxes except the flat-rate mileage tax has risen modestly. In seven cases, support has increased by more than ten percentage points since the first year the question was asked.
Key 2016 findings specific to public transit include:
  • A large majority (82%) said that expanding and improving transit services in their states should be a high or medium government priority.
  • Only one-half of respondents knew that fares don’t cover the cost of transit, and only 29% knew of the federal government’s role in funding public transit.
  • Two-thirds supported spending current gas tax revenues on transit, although only 41% supported increasing gas taxes to improve transit.
View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Cubic opens global ops center for transportation services

The new center utilizes Cubic’s latest innovations, including cloud-based enterprise software, best-in-class service management tools and advanced analytics.

AC Transit develops open source software

Open Source is a global movement that has gained acceptance as a way to produce high-quality software without the cost associated with commercial solutions.

Ore.'s Lane Transit District to add 14,000 hours of new bus service

The investment focuses on increasing service on LTD’s most used routes including the EmX serving downtown Eugene, downtown Springfield and the Gateway area, Route 11 serving Springfield’s Thurston area, and Routes 66 and 67 serving North Eugene.

Committee recommends interim CEO to lead Baton Rouge's CATS

William "Bill" Deville, who has been leading the agency since April, stepped in as interim leader of the bus system following the resignation earlier this year of former CEO Bob Mirabito.

DC Metro adds 28 new digital ad displays to increase revenue

Each digital display is expected to generate at least four times more revenue than the static ads they replace and significantly expand Metro’s digital advertising network.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close