Those seeking to impose higher gas taxes and fees have been dealt another blow. The Fort Worth Star Telegram and four other Texas dailies asked voters how the state should pay for more highway construction. TLOTA and raising the the gas tax, measures championed by Sen. John Carona and Rep. Vicki Truitt, received the lowest support.

Only 9.6 percent of those polled were in favor of TLOTA, the local option measure that failed to pass last session. In addition the poll showed that only 16 percent preferred a gas tax increase.

Drilling down into respondents from Tarrant, Parker and Johnson counties the local option polled even lower at 3.9 percent. Tarrant county is home to the House proponent of the local option measure Vicki Truitt who claimed throughout the session that the people of her district “wanted this.”

Maybe Rep. Truitt thought support for her bill was high because lobbyist Bill Miller of HillCo told her that was the case. A poll commissioned last year by HillCo showed support for the measure but highlights the fact that a poll can be conducted as a means to an end. The end in this case being artificial support for an unpopular measure. Bill Miller explains that they “walk each respondent through,” convincing them of the measures being polled as it is taken.

The new poll numbers could be an indication of why Rep. Truitt backpedaled last week when asked by the FWST if she would champion the measure once again. Tarrant county voters should not accept a “no comment” on this issue. Voters deserve a firm renunciation of these and similar measures from their elected officials who should seek first fiscally responsible measures to address funding transportation.

Here’s a link a to FWST story.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.


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