Survey: Virginians oppose gas-tax increase

Va. residents like transportation; they just don’t want to pay for it

News Richmond Times-Dispatch January 10, 2011
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Virginia residents oppose an increase in the state’s gas tax by a margin of 2-to-1, according to a survey conducted by Christopher Newport University. Virginians rank transportation as one of their top priorities but also as one of the top places to cut the state budget.

A report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch called the survey respondents’ reaction to transportation “scrambled.”

The university surveyed 1,097 adults and found that 61.4% of them opposed an increase in the gas tax, while 33% supported it.

The respondents also opposed charging tolls for travel on highways, bridges or tunnels by 54.1% to 42.4%.

“Virginia’s transportation program and highway network are falling into a state of disrepair,” Robert O. Chase, of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “and absent significant new funding, Virginia will not be able to attract and keep the jobs it needs to continue to be prosperous.”

Virginians also thought if the state budget had to be cut, the cuts should be made in transportation (30.2%), followed by none of the options given (19.1%), social services (16.1%) and all of the options (13.1%). Other options for cuts included public safety, education and health care.

Members of the Virginia General Assembly reconvene on Jan. 12 for another session, in which they will consider transportation and the state’s budget among other issues.

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