Voting for a gas tax increase to fund transportation investments has not hurt Republicans or Democrats at the ballot box, a new analysis by ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center shows.
Ninety-five percent of all Republican state legislators who voted to increase their state gas tax to fund transportation improvements in 2013 and 2014 and ran for re-election last November won their races. That was a one percent higher winning percentage than that racked up by all state Republican legislators who voted against a gas tax increase during the prior two years.
On the Democratic side, 88 percent of state legislators who voted in favor of a state gas tax increase and ran last year were re-elected, as were 86 percent who voted “no.”
“This analysis shows two things members of Congress need to know,” said ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane. “First, a bipartisan majority can be found to increase transportation investment if the leadership of both parties actually lead—rather than play politics—and give their colleagues a chance to vote. Second, if legislators are honest with their constituents and clearly explain why a gas tax increase is necessary and important and what benefits their constituents will derive from it, they have little reason to fear the ballot box over a gas tax vote.”
Seven state legislatures passed a gas tax increase or its equivalent during the last election cycle: Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming and New Hampshire. Read the full report.