What would you pay a penny for?

April 08, 2014, 7:13 PM GMT+0

Americans are willing to pay a little bit extra in gas taxes for transport improvements, but not for anything else

New York City is planning to levy a small fee - around 30 cents - on each taxi journey in order to fund a program that would slowly ensure that all taxis in the city are handicap accessible. Out of just over 13,000 cabs in the city, only 631 are handicap-accessible. Many governments levy similar charges, adding small charges to sales tax to pay for school expansion or improved public transport.

The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans (58%) would support paying an extra penny per gallon of gas in order to fund road repairs and new construction. People are evenly divided on paying an extra penny for improved mass transit, with 47% supporting a higher gas tax and 46% opposing it. Most oppose paying an extra penny per gallon to reduce the national debt (52%), expand availability for handicap taxis (52%) and fund museums (63%).

Attitudes to the extra tax differ strongly according to party. Democrats - and under-30s - support paying the extra tax for everything except museum funding, while Republicans tend to oppose paying extra gas tax regardless of what the money is used for. Independents oppose a higher tax for anything except road repairs and construction.

Asked specifically about New York City's taxi plan, Americans tend to oppose (46%) rather than support (39%) paying a small surcharge on each taxi journey in order to pay for more handicap accessible taxis.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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