Poll: Most Americans back 10-cent gas tax hike

Seventy-one percent of U.S. residents would support a 10-cent increase in the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax that is used to pay for federal transportation projects, according to a new poll released this week.

The survey, conducted by the San Jose, Calif.-based Mineta Transportation Institute, comes as lawmakers are facing an Oct. 29 deadline for renewing federal infrastructure spending that has been the subject of debate in Washington for most of the year.

Support for increasing the gas tax to 28 cents-per-gallon drops to 31 percent if the money is used to “maintain and improve the transportation system” instead of “improve road maintenance,” according to the group.

The group behind the study said “the survey results show that a majority of Americans would support higher taxes for transportation—under certain conditions.”The gas tax has been used to pay for road and transit projects since the 1930s, but the levy has not been increased since 1993. Transportation advocates have been suggesting the idea of increasing the gas tax for the first time in more than decades to make up the difference.

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The full results of the study can be read here.