Poll: Americans Support Tolls Rather Than Taxes for Highway Repairs

The latest Reason-Rupe poll of 1,000 adults finds 73% of Americans believe the government spends existing transportation funding inefficiently. Just 21% think government spends transportation money efficiently.

Nevertheless, 46% of Americans think the federal government needs to spend more money on transportation infrastructure than it does today, 30% think the government needs to spend about the same amount as now, and 21% believe the federal government should spend less on transportation.

Reason-Rupe finds 85% of Americans oppose raising the federal gas tax. Mileage-based user fees are often discussed as the future of transportation funding. However, 72% say they oppose eliminating the gas tax and replacing it with a fee based on the number of miles driven. Only 23% favor replacing the gas tax with a mileage fee.When asked about a specific funding challenge - paying for needed repairs and the expansion of existing Interstate highways - 58% say they'd rather pay for those projects with tolls, while 32% would prefer to pay for them by raising the fuel tax.

When asked to choose their top priority for transportation spending, a majority of Americans chose highways and streets but a large number ranked transit first: 55% want to prioritize highways and streets, 38% believe transit systems should come first, and 5% put bicycle and walking trails atop the list.

The latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll is based on live interviews conducted between August 6-10, 2014. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.7% and it was executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Overview of Findings

Topline Results