Poll Shows Tennesseans Support A Gas Tax Increase, But By How Much? | Nashville Public Radio

Poll Shows Tennesseans Support A Gas Tax Increase, But By How Much?

May 23, 2016

Tennesseans seem to be on board with increasing the state's tax on gasoline. That's one conclusion political scientists at Vanderbilt University are drawing from their latest poll of voters.

But just how much more Tennesseans are willing to pay for better roads remains in the air.


Drivers in Tennessee currently pay just over 21 cents a gallon in gas taxes — money that's used for roads and other transportation projects.


The poll shows a majority of Tennesseans support paying as much as 12 cents a gallon more.



When the last poll was taken back in November, most said 8 cents.


The exact amount of an increase Tennesseans would support is unclear, but the answers all point in the same direction.


"The public supports a small increase for sure," Vanderbilt Poll co-director John Geer says. "They seem to be game to support a 10-cent, 15-cent increase."


The gas tax hasn't gone up in a quarter century, and state officials have warned of long-term deterioration unless it does.


Gov. Bill Haslam has tried to put together a plan, but state lawmakers didn't take the issue up during the spring legislative session. It's possible they'll debate a gas tax increase after this fall's elections.