Do Gas Tax Hikes Matter to Voters?

May 1, 2017

To cover the costs of maintaining and building new roads, state governments are proposing gas tax increases at a record rate. The Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (TIAC) has released a report showing that voting to increase a state's gas tax doesn't seem to have much of an impact on the lawmaker's job security.

TIAC looked at 16 states that raised their gas taxes between 2013 and 2016.

Of the 1,300 legislators who voted on those tax increases, 82 percent were standing for reelection.

Here's what TIAC found:

  • Yea: 91 percent of the legislators who voted for a gas tax increase were reelected.
  • Nay: 93 percent of the legislators who voted against a gas tax increase were reelected.

For Republican state legislators who supported a gas tax increase, 95 percent were reelected, the same reelection rate as those officials who voted against the gas tax increase.

Democrats who voted for a gas tax increase were reelected at 89 percent, compared to 86 percent who voted against the same legislation.

ARTBA's Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black looked at the figures and said, “The voters in these states understand that lawmakers are showing political will to increase resources for transportation investment. For the majority of these states, their gas tax had not been raised in over 15 years.It is now up to Congress and the Trump administration to address the stability of the Highway Trust Fund, which provides revenue for over half of all state highway program capital outlays.”

To read the full TIAC report, click here: