An Opinion Savvy survey conducted with InsiderAdvantage for Fox5 Atlanta and Morris News shows that despite an amendment to the current House transportation bill, the legislation still remains unpopular with voters. Crosstabs at the bottom of the page.
The amended legislation adjusted downward the amount legislators seek to charge at the gas pump in order to fund the state’s transportation needs. Support for the move is weak among Georgia voters and particularly Republicans. However, according to Fox5 political analyst Matt Towery, another question in the poll could give legislators direction as to how to actually pass their plan.
Poll respondents were asked, “What is your opinion of proposed legislation that would raise $750 million for transportation and mass transit in Georgia by replacing the state sales tax on gasoline and motor fuel with an excise tax of 24 cents per gallon?” The results were:
Favor: 26 percent
Oppose: 45 percent
Undecided: 29 percent
An earlier form of the bill with a higher excise tax received similar responses in a Fox5 survey conducted earlier in the legislative session.
InsiderAdvantage founder and Fox5 Political Analyst Matt Towery: “The problem with this legislation really lies among Republican and independent voters. If they are read an objective version of the bill as it has been reported on television and in newspapers, the results are weak and actually very bad among Republicans, who favor the legislation at just a 20 percent level. Nearly 50 percent of both Republicans and independent voters say they oppose the bill. Certainly we could ‘editorialize’ in the question and push that support level up a bit, but it would not reflect the public’s opinion as the proposal is being presented to them in objective news reports.”
Towery points out that the poll might suggest a manner in which increased funding could possibly be gained in this year’s legislative session: “The Opinion Savvy pollsters focused in on an emphasis on funding for ‘maintaining current roads and bridges and thoroughfares for purposes of safety and traffic flow in the state of Georgia.’ Nearly 90 percent of Georgians said it was important to maintain roads and bridges to keep them safe and to preserve traffic flow. In reality, the vast amount of dollars that the House proposal as amended will be devoted to are for those purposes. This suggest to me that proponents should drop their ‘it’s good for business’ approach to pushing any bill on transportation funding and instead emphasize the need to keep infrastructure safe and to keep up with increasing traffic flow. That is an entirely different message which has not really ever made it to most voters,” he said.
The survey of 456 registered Georgia voters was conducted March 4 by phone. It is weighted for age, race, gender and political affiliation. It has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
Crosstabs: 3 5 15 Transportation Tax