Michigan poll: Voters support increased taxes for investment in roads, public transportation systems

Support crosses political boundaries

Michigan voters believe transportation systems create jobs and boost the state’s economy, and are willing to pay more to invest in them according to a survey released today by the Michigan Environmental Council.

The survey recorded widespread dissatisfaction with Michigan’s roads and public transportation. Respondents believe costs for those systems will spiral out of control if the shortcomings are not addressed quickly and aggressively.

More than 70 percent of voters said that they would not vote against elected officials who vote to raise taxes $20 per month for transportation infrastructure upgrades.

“Taxes are not a dirty word for voters when it comes to rebuilding roads and creating better public transportation systems,” said Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council and a former state representative. “Support for transportation investment was across the board—majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents all say they were willing to pay more.”

The statewide poll of 600 voters was conducted by Maryland-based Victoria Research & Consulting in February and March.

Among key findings:

  • 67 percent rate Michigan’s public transportation systems as fair or poor; 87 percent rate our roads fair or poor.
  • More than 90 percent believe we should do better at fixing roads and bridges. 76 percent think we should ensure that bike lanes, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings should be included in road projects.
  • 70 percent believe we should improve or fix bus systems. More than 60 percent believe we should improve passenger rail lines.
  • 64 percent want increased state investment in infrastructure.
  • 78 percent believe new transportation investment creates jobs and boosts the economy.
  • 62 percent are willing to pay increased taxes of $10 a month or more to fix transportation systems.
  • 71 percent reject raising taxes for transportation infrastructure as a reason to vote against elected officials.
  • 72 percent agree with the statement “Time is running out on gas, we need to invest in a cleaner, better transportation future.”

“Voters want their tax dollars spent wisely, and believe transportation systems are a smart investment in jobs and the economy,” said Donna Victoria of Victoria Research.

The poll results can be viewed by clicking here.