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Does Perception of Gas Tax Paid Influence Support for Funding Highway Improvements?

Ronald Fisher and Robert Wassmer ()

Public Finance Review, 2017, vol. 45, issue 4, 511-537

Abstract: The issue for this research is whether perception of the rate and amount of fuel taxes paid by an individual influences his or her support for funding highway improvements from any source of revenue. A survey of likely California and Michigan voters demonstrates that they often overestimate the rate of their state’s gasoline excise tax and the subsequent amount they are likely to pay for this tax in a month. Regression analyses show that voter misperceptions concerning the magnitude of state fuel taxes affect their views regarding an increase in funding to support highway investment proposals. A reasonable policy implication is that the adoption of proposals to generate additional funds for highway investment is more likely if accompanied by a campaign identifying the existing rate of the state’s gasoline excise tax and the relatively small amount of this tax paid by the state’s typical driver.

Keywords: perception gas tax; support road improvement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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