In a new poll conducted by Mineta Transportation Institute, based in San Jose, Calif., more and more Americans are coming around to raising the gas tax. This poll comes out as members of Congress are returning from their summer recess with an October 29th deadline approaching to renew funding for federal infrastructure spending, such as the Highway Trust Fund.
According to the survey, 71% of Americans would support a 10-cent increase out of the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax that is used to pay for infrastructure and transportation projects nationwide.
The current level of federal spending on transportation is about $50 billion per year, but the gas tax only brings in about $34 billion annually at its current rate.
Transportation advocates have argued that increasing the gas tax would be the easiest way to close the gap. Lawmakers have been reluctant to ask drivers to pay more at the pump, however, viewing a gas tax increase as politically toxic.