More than half of Indiana residents in a recent survey say they support the recent gas tax increase approved by state lawmakers.
The latest results from the annual Hoosier Survey – now in its tenth year – show about 57 percent of the 600 people polled approve of the 10-cent per gallon tax increase passed earlier this year. That hike was part of a $1.2 billion dollar-a-year road funding package that also includes increased registration fees at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that will take effect in January.
It was most popular among those ages 18 to 34, with 65 percent of such respondents backing it. It was least popular among those 55 or older, with 51 percent supporting it and 43 opposing it, the survey found.
Geographically, the increase was most popular in southern Indiana, where 63 percent of adults favored it.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) – one of the road funding bill’s sponsors – says he’s heard positive feedback since the measure passed. And he says the comprehensive package sets the state up well for future transportation needs.
“We gave ourselves the opportunity really to have discussions where we’re not in crisis mode but we can really say, ‘OK, we’ve got some extra here that we can maybe focus to one of these problems,’” Crider says. “So it was a good move.”
Self-proclaimed fiscal conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity opposed the road funding bill’s tax and fee increases. The group recently launched a mail campaign targeting two key GOP lawmakers who helped shepherd the measure through the Statehouse. The group, the political arm of conservative industrialist billionaires Charles and David Koch, says the campaign is an “accountability effort to call out” GOP state Rep. Ed Soliday and state Sen. Michael Crider.
Most Democrats – and a few Republicans – voted against the measure.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.