Exclusive: Poll shows voter support for gas tax

A majority of Georgia voters would support paying higher gas taxes to fund transportation improvements, a new poll released Monday shows.

The poll, conducted for the Georgia Transportation Alliance, shows strong support among Georgians for lawmakers to boost funding for transportation, according to an advance copy obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The alliance is an arm of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, which has made increased transportation funding a priority.

The poll surveyed 603 likely voters from Feb. 8-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The survey was conducted by WPA Opinion Research of Washington, the firm that accurately predicted now-U.S. Sen. David Perdue would win November’s election without a runoff.

Among the highlights:

  • 57 percent of respondents said they would “be willing to pay a little more in gas tax” if the money would go toward improving transportation.
  • 53 percent said they would be more likely to re-elect a legislator who voted to increase taxes for transportation, including 54 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats. Only 48 percent of independents said they would vote for a lawmaker who raises taxes.
  • 62 percent support establishing a dedicated fund for transit systems statewide.
  • 53 percent support lawmakers raising an additional $1.5 billion in transportation funding.

Lawmakers in the House have introduced legislation they hope will raise up to $1 billion in new transportation funding by transitioning the state from a series of sales and excise taxes on motor fuel to a single excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon. House Bill 170 would also create new fees on drivers of electric vehicles, end a popular tax credit for buying electric cars and dramatically change how local governments tax fuel.

Look for more later today on myajc.com.

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