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Survey: Washingtonians overwhelmingly support lower gas taxes

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(The Center Square) – Nearly three out of four residents favor lowering the state’s 49.4 cents per gallon gas tax, according to a new Washington State Spring 2023 Priorities Survey.

The survey of 600 registered voters was conducted from June 5 through June 7 in conjunction with Echelon Insights, an Alexandria, Virginia-based research institute. It found that 71% of respondents felt the gas tax is too high and that state officials should be working to lower the overall cost of living in Washington.

That contrasts with 16% of voters who indicated they thought the gas tax should be higher as a way of generating revenue for the state and fighting climate change.

The survey also asked about the perception of gas prices in Washington compared to other states, with 79% of respondents saying they believed they pay more for gas. Only 14% believed the prices were about the same.

At the time of the survey, Washington had the third-highest gas prices in the nation, which was mentioned in a poll question.

Since then, gas prices in the Evergreen State have become the highest in the nation, with some experts linking that to Washington’s new carbon-pricing program launched this year that charges businesses for the greenhouse gases they emit. The first two quarterly auctions have brought in more than $850 million.

Respondents were asked if they believed the carbon tax resulted in higher gas prices, with 60% answering affirmatively, 21% saying they were unsure and 19% believing it didn’t increase prices.

Beyond energy, the survey asked a variety of issues, including homelessness, crime and policing.

Researchers found that more than half of those polled – 53% – thought the state is now on the wrong track. More than one in three people – 37% – said that if given the opportunity they would move out of Washington.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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