This report summarizes the results from the fourteenth year of a national public opinion survey asking U.S. adults questions related to their views on federal transportation taxes. A nationally representative sample of 2,531 respondents completed the online survey from February 13 to March 23, 2023. The questions test public opinions about raising the federal gas tax rate, replacing the federal gas tax with a new mileage fee, and imposing a mileage fee just on commercial travel. In addition to asking directly about support for these tax options, the survey collected data on respondents’ views on the quality of their local transportation system, their priorities for federal transportation spending, their knowledge about gas taxes, their views on privacy and equity matters related to mileage fees, travel behavior, and sociodemographic characteristics. Key findings include that large majorities supported transportation improvements across modes and wanted to see the federal government work towards making the transportation system well maintained, safe, and equitable, as well as to reduce the system’s impact on climate change. Findings related to gas taxes include that only 2% of respondents knew that the federal gas tax rate had not been raised in more than 20 years, and 70% of respondents supported increasing the federal gas tax by 10 cents per gallon if the revenue would be dedicated to maintenance or safety. With respect to mileage fees, around half of respondents supported some form of mileage fee, whether that was assessed on all travel or just on commercial travel. Also, the majority of respondents supported variable rate structure options that included 62% who supported charging low-income drivers a reduced mileage fee rate and 52% who thought electric vehicles should pay a lower rate than gas and diesel vehicles. The analysis of trends across the survey series, which has run annually from 2010 to 2023, shows that support for both higher gas taxes and a hypothetical new mileage fee has risen slowly but steadily.
Digital Object Identifier
Mineta Transportation Institute URL
gas tax, transportation funding, federal transportation taxes
Infrastructure | Transportation
Asha Weinstein Agrawal, Hilary Nixon, and Adam Azevedo. "What Do Americans Think About Federal Tax Options to Support Transportation? Results from Year Fourteen of a National Survey" Mineta Transportation Institute Publications (2023). https://doi.org/10.31979/mti.2023.2303