Poll: Improve roads top priority of Michiganders

generic I-196 Grand Rapids College Ave Exit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Michigan residents have voiced their opinions when it comes to how important improving roads is to them and how they want to pay for the repairs.

Results from an EPIC-MRA poll released Sunday show when pollsters read out a list of nine different problems, ‘Improving the condition of roads and bridges’ was the first choice of 29% of the respondents and second choice of 18% of the respondents.

18% of respondents said ‘Improving the state economy and creating more jobs’ as their first choice and ‘Improving the quality of education and increasing funding’ was the first choice of 16% of respondents.

FULL RESULTS OF “WHAT ONE PROBLEM OR ISSUE THAT PERSONALLY CONCERNS YOU THE MOST, THE NEXT GREATEST CONCERN and 3rd TOP CONCERN?”

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When asked what should a state budget surplus should be used for, a majority of respondents, 51%, said ‘Increased funding for the maintenance and repair of state and local roads’ as the top answer and 26% said it as their 2nd choice. ‘Increased funding for K through 12 education’ was the first choice of 25% of respondents and the second choice of 28% of respondents.

FULL RESULTS OF “IF THERE IS A SURPLUS, WHICH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES DO YOU THINK THE SINGLE LARGEST AMOUNT OF FUNDING FROM A STATE BUDGET SURPLUS SHOULD BE USED FOR?”

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Pollsters also asked respondents if they would support an increase of the states sales tax from 6% to 7% if the increase went to road repairs and improvements. If the issue were on an election ballot, the vote would be close.

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Pollsters asked about the Michigan Legislature considering a proposal that would increase funding for road repair and improvements by repealing the current 19 cents per gallon sales tax on regular gasoline and 15 cents per gallon on diesel fuel and replace it with a 6% sales tax on the wholesale price of both types of gasoline. The plan would earmark 1% of the 6% use tax collected on transportation funding to provide nearly $250 million for roads and would double the fines for overweight trucks.

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A majority of respondents were quite negative about changing to a system where motorists pay a new fee that would be based on several factors, including the number of miles they drive, the time of day they travel, the route taken and the weight of the vehicle they drive for being a way to provide the increased funding needed to improve and repair the roads.

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Respondents were also negative about the idea of converting several interstate highways in Michigan to toll roads.

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This poll was conducted by EPIC-MRA in mid-May with 600 respondents. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4%

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