Almost three times as many state drivers support adding tolls to increase transportation funding over increasing gas taxes or charging a mileage fee, according to a AAA poll released Tuesday.
AAA surveyed 980 state drivers Jan. 12 through Jan. 14 about their opinions on transportation funding issues. Survey takers strongly supported a Constitutional lock box proposal by almost 9 to 1, AAA reported.
Adding tolls on state highways received 47 percent of the votes, but none of the options received a majority. The option to increase federal and state gas taxes received 16 percent of the votes, and charging a mileage fee received 5 percent. About 30 percent don’t support any of the three options and 2 percent stated they don’t believe additional funding is needed.
State voters will be asked to approve or deny a constitutional amendment this November requiring that transportation-related fees are dedicated solely to the state’s Special Transporation Fund and not spent for other uses.
“It is critical that the motoring public, those who pay hundreds of millions in motor vehicle taxes and fees, have a voice in how transportation funds are collected and protected,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast Public Affairs Specialist. ”AAA’s intention in conducting the survey was to help make motorists’ opinions known to lawmakers and transportation stakeholders.”
The survey comes ahead of the 2018 legislative session where Gov.. Dannel P. Malloy and state lawmakers will address the Special Transportation Fund, projected to be in the red in 2019 with a $38 million shortfall. That number is expected to grow to $216 million by 2022.
The survey was conducted for AAA by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, N.C. and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.