A new Rasmussen telephone poll found that 81% of Americans oppose an “increase [in] the tax on gasoline by a large amount” as a way to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars. Eight percent are undecided, and 10% supported such an increase.
These sentiments remain largely unchanged from nearly two years when 86% said they opposed the idea of raising gas taxes by $0.50 cents a gallon as a result of congressional legislation that would encourage the development of more fuel-efficient cars.
In April 2008, 60% of Americans favored suspending the federal gas tax completely for the summer to offset soaring gas prices.
Other findings of the poll:
Younger Americans are slightly more supportive of raising the gas tax to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars than their elders, but even among those ages 18 to 29, 79% are opposed.
15% of men support a big tax increase on gasoline to push sales of fuel-efficient cars, compared to 6% of women.
13% of both Democrats and adults not affiliated with either major party like the gas tax proposal versus just 4% of Republicans.
18% of government employees agree, compared to 7% who work in the private sector.
Americans also give mixed reviews to the “Cash for Clunkers” plan now moving through Congress that would give car owners up to $4,500 toward the purchase of a new, more fuel-efficient car if they turn in their old vehicle.
Only 22% of Americans are willing to spend more to buy an energy-efficient hybrid car to help the environment. Even last October, after record high prices at the pump, just 37% said they were more likely to buy a hybrid car than they were a year earlier.
In a poll earlier this year, 73% rejected the idea of taxing drivers based on how many miles they drive to help fund the building and repair of roads and bridges. Only 18% supported a mileage tax.
The latest poll was a national survey of 1,000 adults, conducted 6-7 May 2009. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.