Washingtonians overwhelmingly support lower gas taxes

Washingtonians overwhelmingly support lower gas taxes

Washingtonians might be thinking twice before taking a road trip – or heading out on their boats – this holiday weekend. Our new survey shows Washington voters are fed up with highest-in-the-nation gas prices, according to a new survey. 

Future 42’s Washington State Spring 2023 Priorities Survey sampled 600 registered voters in the state of Washington about issues ranging from the cost of living and homelessness to crime and policing. When asked about energy, the survey found residents are unhappy with the state’s current system – and blame it for the historically high prices at the pump. This is just one more way that, around the state, residents are tired of paying more and getting less.

The survey also asked specifically about their perception of gasoline prices in the Evergreen State compared to other other states. An overwhelming majority (79%) of respondents believed they pay more for gasoline while only only 14% believed the prices were about the same.

The results also showed dissatisfaction with Washington’s Cap and Trade auction that set a price on carbon emissions. It required energy companies to pay $300 million to the state in order to continue selling gasoline and engage in other activities that result in carbon emissions. 

Asked if they believed this has resulted in higher gas prices, 60% answered affirmatively and 21% were unsure, with only 19% believing it did not increase prices.

Washingtonians pay almost $5 per gallon, which is much higher than the national average of $3.50. And rather than help the environment, all this cap-and-trade system has done is raise prices on families dealing with an already-high cost of living. It’s so bad that residents are driving across the border to neighboring states like Idaho just to get cheaper gas.

Lawmakers neglected to consider what kind of effect this expensive system would have. Residents recognize that trying to become the greenest state in the nation isn’t worth becoming one of the most unaffordable. This is just one way residents around the state are tired of paying more and getting less.

Respondents were polled on the state’s gas tax, which stands at $0.494 cents per gallon, the eighth highest in the nation. A significant majority (71%) favored a lower gas tax, arguing that it would help reduce the cost of living in the state. Conversely, 16% believed the tax should be increased, and the remaining 13% were uncertain or declined to answer.

People clearly want a break, but it’s unclear to respondents what Gov. Inslee and our state’s Legislature will do to address the problem. Overwhelmingly, respondents felt that the legislature did not focus enough on energy costs or the cost of living. A majority of voters disapprove of both Inslee and state legislature so, if our lawmakers wish to remain in office, they will need to shift their priorities to the things which matter most to voters.

The Future 42 Washington State Spring 2023 Priorities Survey is an annual survey conducted by Echelon Insights. This edition consisted of 70% text-to-web responses and 30% landline live interviews conducted June 5-7, 2023. The margin of error is ± 5.0%. 

Full topline results can be found here.  

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