Field Poll

By Christopher Cadelago
02/27/2015 6:56 AM

Sacramento —

California voters think the government should spend more money to help maintain crumbling roads, but they offer mixed views on how to fund the upkeep, according to a new statewide Field Poll.

More than 70 percent think state and local officials should dedicate additional resources to existing roadways. By a smaller margin, 48 percent to 35 percent, they believe more money must be set aside for new road construction.

However, the poll found voters split over a proposal to raise the state gasoline tax by 10 cents a gallon to improve roads and highways. Opinions on the tax increase largely fall along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.

In signaling his priorities last month, Gov. Jerry Brown said the state faces $59 billion in deferred road maintenance. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, has proposed a new user charge to make up for tumbling gas tax revenue resulting from more fuel-efficient cars.

Voters by more than 2-to-1 reject the idea of installing a device on motor vehicles to detect the number of miles they drive and allow state officials to determine an appropriate road-usage fee. Similarly, they resist the idea of creating more toll roads.

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