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Poll: Californians Oppose Higher Gas Tax For Road Repair

  

A new report finds most Californians oppose paying higher gas taxes, even in light of a backlog of road repair projects.

A bill pending in the state Legislature would raise both the gas tax and vehicle registration fees to pay for road improvements.

"But what our poll found is that voters don't want to do that," says Ethan Rarick with the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, which conducted the poll of about 1,000 Californians.

Rarick says respondents opposed a gas tax increase, 63 percent to 37 percent, and higher vehicle registration fees, 74 percent to 26 percent.

"Republicans and independents are strongly opposed to raising the gas tax and the registration fees," says Rarick. "Democrats narrowly favor the gas tax, but it's close. And even Democrats oppose the vehicle registration fees."

The online survey also found most people supported increasing the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15. The poll shows 68 percent support a higher minimum wage. Rarick says there were clear partisan differences.

"Democrats overwhelmingly favored that idea, 82 percent," says Rarick. "Republicans strongly opposed it, 60 percent of Republicans opposed it. Independents were somewhere in the middle."

Supporters of a higher minimum wage are currently gathering signatures for a ballot measure. The poll was conducted between August 11th and August 26th.