Poll: 81% of Americans okay with more taxes for infrastructure

The poll, which finds that eight out of ten people are willing to pay 1% more in taxes for infrastructure, also revealed that 94% of Americans were concerned about the condition of the nation’s infrastructure.

A national poll has found that 81 percent of Americans are willing to pay 1% more in taxes to rebuild America’s future.

“This isn’t typical generic support. In a nation politically divided, the fact that both Democrats and Republicans are prepared to pay up to build up America’s infrastructure is significant”, Frank Luntz, head of Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research, said in a statement.

Luntz conducted the poll on behalf of Building America’s Future, an infrastructure investment advocacy group created two years ago by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The poll also found that 94 percent of the 800 Americans surveyed said they were concerned about the condition of the nation’s infrastructure. The finding parallels 84 percent of Americans who said they wanted state spending on infrastructure increased and 83 percent who wanted federal funding increased.

At the same time, cash-strapped states such as Florida are facing cuts in their transportation budgets due to mutli-billion dollar deficits. And President-Elect Barack Obama, while voicing support for increased federal infrastructure spending, has made it clear that the increase will come at the cost of massive budget deficits in the near term.

To help bridge that funding gap, some constituencies have already voted in favor of increasing their taxes to fund infrastructure. In California, Los Angeles County voters last November approved by 67 percent to 33 percent a measure that will create a half-a-cent sales tax to raise as much as $40 billion for local infrastructure projects.

The poll also found that Americans view infrastructure as more than just roads and highways. Asked to list their top funding priorities, 41 percent listed energy facilities as their highest priority for investment. The poll was conducted online on 22 December 2008.