FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2008
CONTACT: Chris Hayes (919) 834-2099/(919) 771-5954 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NC Voters Oppose Gas Tax Holiday, Support Offshore Drilling
Would Rather Keep Taxes for Highways than Temporary Relief
Raleigh, NC – Faced with gas prices nearing $4 per gallon and the traditionally heavy summer driving months ahead, voters in North Carolina resoundingly reject the idea of temporarily suspending the state’s gas tax. At the same time, voters overwhelmingly support oil and gas exploration off of the North Carolina coast.
The Civitas Institute’s May DecisionMaker poll reveals that 60 percent of voters prefer to keep gas tax revenues for road construction and maintenance rather than temporarily suspend the gas tax for a few months. 28 percent favored suspension of the tax while 12 percent were not sure.
Voters also approved of opening up North Carolina’s coastal waters to oil and gas exploration by a nearly 7:2 margin. 68 percent polled favored exploration while only 20 percent were opposed to the idea. 11 percent were not sure.
“It is apparent that voters believe increased oil and gas exploration is a better solution to rising gas prices than temporarily suspending the gas tax. It seems they seek a more permanent fix from rising prices rather than the ‘quick fix’ temporary solution,” stated Civitas Legislative Policy Analyst Chris Hayes.
Recently, Presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton both called for suspending the federal portion of the gas tax for the summer months. Yesterday, Rep. Joe Boylan (R-Moore) filed HB 2193 to suspend the state portion of the gas tax for summer.
The study of 800 registered voters was conducted May 14-17 by TelOpinion Research of Alexandria, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2002, 2004 or 2006 general election or were newly registered voters since 2006. The voters were interviewed using live callers.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95% of the time, results from 800 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-3.7% of the “True Values.” “True Values” refer to the results obtained if were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2002, 2004 or 2006 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2006.
Full text of questions:
DO YOU SUPPORT A PROPOSED GAS TAX HOLIDAY OVER THE SUMMER MONTHS OR BELIEVE THESE FUNDS SHOULD BE KEPT FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE IN NORTH CAROLINA?
1. GAS HOLIDAY 224 28
2. KEPT FOR CONSTRUCTION 481 60
98. NOT SURE 95 12
DO YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION OFF THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA?
1. SUPPORT 546 68
2. OPPOSE 163 20
98. NOT SURE 91 11