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34 preferences relating to value pricing and private development State Parkways to a non-profit corporation (99). Among those of the L.B.J. Highway toll road located near the cities of who had heard or read "a lot" about leasing the toll roads, 85% Dallas, Garland, Farmers Branch, and Mesquite in Dallas said they opposed the idea. Sixty-four percent of voters polled County. About half of respondents (48%) believed that it was a said they opposed raising tolls on the Turnpike and the Garden good idea to complete necessary construction of Interstate 635 State Parkway to pay off state debt. Toll hikes are viewed in a (the L.B.J. Highway) through the use of tolls. About half (49%) different light when voters are asked to choose between rais- believed it was a bad idea, and 3% did not know. About one- ing tolls, raising taxes, or cutting services to help get the state third (34%) believed it was a good idea for TxDOT to allow a out of debt. Given those choices, 44% of voters opt for toll private firm to construct and manage the lanes on Interstate 635 increases, 28% for service cuts, and 9% support increasing in exchange for the right to collect tolls. Almost two-thirds taxes. (61%) believed it was a bad idea, and 5% did not know. At the time of the survey, the Texas legislature was debating bill HB 1892, which included a two-year ban on private toll road con- 91. Statewide Pennsylvania (2007) tracts, with certain exceptions, among other toll-related items. Method: Survey. Universe: Pennsylvania voters. Sample size: N = 1,160. Margin of error: 3.3 percentage points. Sample 89. Statewide Pennsylvania (2007) type: Not reported. Method: Survey. Universe: Pennsylvania voters. Sample size: In August, a Quinnipiac University poll found state residents N = 1,318. Margin of error: 2.7 percentage points. Sample oppose the plan of leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a pri- type: Not reported. vate operator by a margin of 47% to 40%, with the rest un- decided (100). Support has shifted downward from March In May, the Quinnipiac University Poll Study conducted a 2007 (49%) and May 2007 (44%). statewide survey in Pennsylvania that asked voters for their opinions on several topical issues (98). Several questions addressed leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private com- TAX-RELATED INITIATIVES pany. "Governor Rendell has proposed leasing the Pennsylva- nia Turnpike to a private company, but keeping state control Public opinion regarding tax-related initiatives is relevant to over toll increases and maintenance schedules. The money the topic of tolling and road pricing because pricing decision would be used to pay for highway and bridge construction. Do making is often done within the context of alternatives to you support or oppose this proposal?" (98). Forty-four percent increased taxes. With the passage of the Federal-Aid Highway of those polled supported the proposal, 42% opposed it, and Act and Highway Revenue Act of 1956, federal motor fuel tax 14% had no opinion. Support decreased from 49% reported revenues have been earmarked only for roadway spending. in March 2007. The provision of additional information, "leas- The fuel taxes are the primary source of roadway and transit ing the turnpike would result in an upfront payment of about infrastructure funding at the state and local levels. The federal $12 to $18 billion by the company leasing the turnpike . . . the Highway Trust Fund was established by the Highway Rev- state could invest that money and earn nearly one billion dol- enue Act of 1956 for the direct purpose of funding the con- lars a year in interest to be spent on roads and bridges" (98) struction of an Interstate System and aiding in the financing of made no difference to 40% of respondents; 38% said it would primary, secondary, and urban routes. After many years of make them "more likely" to support and 15% said it would steady growth, federal and state gas tax receipts reached a make them "less likely" to support leasing the Pennsylvania plateau in the late 1990s. According to the National Surface Turnpike. The majority of respondents (54%) believed that Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, as a "leasing the turnpike to a private company would result in sig- result of recent federal revenue and expenditure trends, the nificant toll increases," whereas 30% did not agree with that Highway Trust Fund is projected to reach a negative balance statement and 16% did not know. Half (50%) believed a pri- in 2009 and the Mass Transit Account balance begins to vate company would do "about the same job" maintaining the decline in 2008. turnpike as the state government. Thirty percent believed that a private company would do a "better job" and 13% a "worse 92. Atlanta, Georgia (2002) job." Method: Survey. Universe: Residents of the 13-county metro 90. Statewide New Jersey (2007) area. Sample size: N = 502. Margin of error: Not reported. Sample type: RDD, probability. Method: Survey. Universe: New Jersey voters. Sample size: N = 891. Margin of error: 3.3 percentage points. Sample In the fall, an Applied Research Center Regional Issues Poll type: Not reported. found that only one-third (32%) of metro Atlantans would support an increase in Georgia's motor fuel tax to fund road- In August, the RutgersEagleton Poll found that 61% of vot- way projects (101). Sixty-three percent would not support an ers opposed leasing the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden increase and 5% did not know. The poll is conducted quarterly

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35 by the Applied Research Center at Georgia State Univer- ing pickups and recreational vehicles), and a 9 cent/gallon gas sity. The article noted that even though the state's gas tax was tax increase over two years. Across the counties, 64% of those the lowest in the nation (at 7.5 cents per gallon vs. the national polled supported R-51 in King County, 43% in Snohomish, average of 20 cents), there was little support for an increase. and 40% in Pierce. More than 50% supported transit needs Of those who supported an increase, most (65%) said that over roads, with 70% supporting the building of a BRT sys- it should be increased by 10 cents--rather than 15 cents, tem. The measure was scheduled to be on the November ballot. 20 cents, or something else. Few respondents (17%) believed the fuel tax should be decreased; most (80%) believed it should be kept the same. Georgia's constitution limits the gas 96. Statewide Oklahoma (2005) tax to roads and roadway improvements; however, 59% of Method: Survey. Universe: Registered voters. Sample size: respondents said they would support a constitutional change to N = 750. Margin of error: 3.8%. Sample type: Not reported. allow the money to be used for mass transit. In June, a statewide poll co-sponsored by the Tulsa World and 93. Pierce County, Washington (2002) KOTV Channel 6 found that 64% of Oklahoma residents plan- ning to vote would vote against a fuel tax increase, whereas Method: Survey. Universe: Registered voters in Pierce County. 25% said they would vote for it and 11% did not respond Sample size: N = 400. Margin of error: Not reported. Sample (104). Most opposition (68%) came from the area of the state type: Not reported. outside Tulsa and Oklahoma City where the economy is based to a large degree on agriculture, where gasoline and diesel are In March, a survey found an even split over the concept of a major costs. In Tulsa, 58% said they would oppose a fuel tax state plan that included an increase in the gas tax, with 24% of increase, compared with 62% in Oklahoma City. At the time, those surveyed strongly in favor and 33% strongly opposed gasoline prices had topped $2 a gallon and State Question 723 (102). Reasons given for voting "yes" included "costs more was being considered, which would gradually increase the later," "freight mobility," and "safety needs." Reasons for vot- gasoline tax by 5 cents and the diesel tax by 8 cents, bringing ing "no" were "over-taxation" and "government wastes too both to 22 cents per gallon within four years to get extra funds much money." Fifty-seven percent responded that roads and for roads and bridges. The measure was not passed. highways need attention over mass transit, and 59% believed Pierce County gets "less than its fair share of funds." 97. Statewide Oklahoma (2005) 94. Statewide Washington (2002) Method: Survey. Universe: Registered voters. Sample size: N = 503. Margin of error: 4.4%. Sample type: Not reported. Method: Survey. Universe: Not reported. Sample size: Not reported. Margin of error: Not reported. Sample type: Not In August, another statewide poll co-sponsored by the Tulsa reported. World and KOTV Channel 6 found that 75% of Oklahoma res- idents planning to vote would vote against a fuel tax increase, In August, a statewide poll conducted for the 1000 Friends of whereas 16% said they would vote for it and 9% did not Washington found that of those polled 63% would vote for a respond (105). The proposal to raise the fuel tax was on the tax increase if there were higher priority given to transit and ballot on September 13, 2005. At the time of the poll, gasoline other transportation choices (103). Seven-four percent placed prices were headed to $3 per gallon. Eighty-three percent a higher priority on safety and maintenance over new road said the condition of state roads and bridges was fair to poor. projects. Eighty-three percent wanted the Washington State Seventy percent said the state should spend more on bridges DOT to reform how it budgets projects to have all the funds and roads. needed to complete projects before they got started. 98. Statewide Wyoming (2007) 95. King, Pierce, Snohomish Counties, Washington (2002) Method: Survey. Universe: Wyoming residents. Sample size: N = 600. Margin of error: 4 percentage points. Sample Method: Survey. Universe: Residents in King, Pierce, and type: Not reported. Snohomish counties. Sample size: N = 500. Margin of error: Not reported. Sample type: Not reported. In January, a statewide poll found that Wyoming residents wanted better roads, but they did not want to pay higher fuel In September, a telephone poll conducted for the Seattle Times taxes to get them (106). Nearly nine of 10 residents (89%) of found majority support for R-51 (103). This was a statewide those polled supported spending more money on maintaining transportation funding package that would be financed through the state's highways and widening some busy two-lane roads. bonds and user taxes: a one-time 1% surcharge on vehicle pur- Just over 7% oppose spending more and 4% said they did not chases, weight fee increases for trucks over 10,000 lb (exclud- know. However, when asked if they would support an increase