Tolls trump taxes as the lesser of two evils

A new poll finds more drivers would rather pay tolls than pay higher taxes when it comes to transporation funding. (AP)

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Tolls trump taxes as the lesser of two evils in a new nationwide survey about transportation funding.

Given a choice between tolls or higher taxes to pay for better roads, 58 percent of respondents to a Reason-Rupe poll say they would rather pay tolls if and when they use a particular lane or highway.

Twenty-eight percent would prefer overall tax hikes.

But 50 percent of those questioned oppose congestion pricing, where drivers pay higher tolls during busy times.

This type of pricing is planned for the HOT lanes that are coming to Virginia.

More poll results:

  • 51percent say they typically travel to work by driving alone.
  • 57 percent support allowing drivers who travel alone to pay a toll to use HOV lanes.
  • 59 percent say they would be willing to pay a toll to use a new lane or road that would save them a significant amount of driving time.
  • 77 percent are against raising the federal gas tax to help pay for roads and transit. It’s now 18.4 cents a gallon.

More than 1,000 adults from all 50 states and the District were questioned earlier this month for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Here’s a link to the entire poll.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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