• AAA study: Drivers willing to pay higher gas taxes for transportation projects


    NORTH CAROLINA - AAA said drivers are willing to pay higher gas taxes for transportation projects.

    In survey results released Tuesday, AAA said 68 percent of Americans believe the government should invest more in roads, bridges and mass transit systems.

    The Highway Trust Fund is projected to hit critically low levels this summer without action from Congress.

    The federal government said states could decide to put future projects on hold because of the uncertainty of funding.

    “It’s potholes that aren’t being filled. It’s bridges that aren’t being kept up. And it’s not just a mobility and a transit problem, it’s a safety problem,” said Avery Ash with AAA.

    AAA supports a senator’s plan to increase the federal gas tax from about 18 cents to 30 cents per gallon over the next two years. AAA said 52 percent of drivers surveyed are willing to pay higher fuel faxes to fix roads.

    The Senate budget chairwoman said without a plan, 700,000 construction jobs could be at risk. She quoted a North Carolina Department of Transportation engineer saying if the trust fund runs dry, that essentially stops the state’s construction program.

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