Poll: Utah Residents Split on Gas Tax Hike

50% of Utahns favor increasing the gasoline tax, while 47% are opposed.

A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds that 49% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats and 48% of independent voters favor raising the tax.

Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, is sponsoring a 10-cent per gallon tax hike. He says he's reluctant to do so, but it's a tough decision that has to be made.

"No one wants to raise the taxes," says Van Tassell. "But the issue is our roads are impacted and going the wrong way fast."

The proposed hike comes as lawmakers are grappling with an estimated $11 billion shortfall by 2040 in transportation funding if new revenues are not found.

"Maintenance money comes from the gas tax, and that bucket needs to be refilled or caught up. The issue is spend it now or spend more later," said Van Tassell.

The survey echoes a previous poll from December and January that found 35% of Utahns favored raising the gas tax while 37% were opposed. Another 27% were neutral.