Raleigh, N.C. – As gas prices remain stubbornly high, an overwhelming majority, 80 percent, of North Carolina voters believe the state legislature and Gov. Beverly Perdue should reinstate the cap on the state’s gas tax.
In 2010 the legislature and governor passed a law that raised North Carolina’s gas tax by turning what had been a cap on how high the tax could be into a floor beneath which the tax could not fall. Due to rising gas prices, the tax will increase in July from 32 cents to 36 cents a gallon if the legislature and governor do not act. Eighty percent of voters said the legislature should act and reinstate the cap on the gas tax. Fifteen percent said the tax should continue to rise with the price of gas, and 4 percent said they do not know.
“During such tight economic times, adding even more to the price at the pump with a gas tax increase is like rubbing salt in a wound,” said Civitas Institute policy analyst Brian Balfour.
With the summer driving season underway, 80 percent of North Carolina voters say high gas prices are bad as they strain families’ budgets and hurt the economy. In contrast, 13 percent said high gas prices are good because it will cause people to drive and pollute less and use more public transportation.
“North Carolina’s gas tax is already significantly higher than neighboring states. Raising the tax even higher will just encourage more consumers to purchase their gas – along with other items purchased at the station’s convenience store – in other states. This will hurt North Carolina small businesses, especially those in our border counties,” added Balfour.
The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.
Full Text of Questions:
“In 2010 the legislature and governor passed a law that raised North Carolina’s gas tax by turning what had been a cap on how high the tax could be into a floor beneath which the tax could not fall. Due to rising gas prices in July the tax on gas will increase from 32 cents to 36 cents a gallon if the legislature and governor do not act. Should the legislature and governor act and reinstate the cap on the gas tax or should it allow the tax to continue to rise with the price of gas?”
The legislature should act and reinstate the cap on the gas tax – 80%
The tax should continue to rise with the price of gas – 15%
Don’t Know/Refused – 5%
“Gasoline prices are reaching record highs. Please tell me which of the following opinions comes closer to your own…”
Some/other people say this is good as people will drive less, use more public transportation and pollute less – 13%
Other/some people say high gas prices are bas as they strain the budgets of families and will hurt the economy – 80%
Don’t Know/Refused – 8%
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 registered general election voters in North Carolina was conducted May 10-11, 2011 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +/-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.