Perception of Gasoline Taxes and Driver Cost: Implications for Highway Finance

23 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014

See all articles by Ronald C. Fisher

Ronald C. Fisher

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems; Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Robert W. Wassmer

California State University, Sacramento - Department of Public Policy & Administration

Date Written: December 12, 2014

Abstract

This research compares the actual magnitude of fuel taxes to the perceptions of these amounts. The issue is whether misperceptions about fuel taxes are contributing to voter perspectives about transportation finance and investment issues. A survey of likely Michigan voters shows that taxpayers greatly overestimate the amount they pay in fuel taxes. Half of the respondents (voters) overestimate the magnitude by at least a factor of five, and three-quarters overestimate the magnitude by at least a factor of three. Logistic regression analysis shows that voter (mis)perceptions regarding the magnitude of state fuel taxes do affect their views regarding highway revenue and investment proposals.

Keywords: Gas Tax, Perception, Highway Finance

JEL Classification: H7

Suggested Citation

Fisher, Ronald C. and Wassmer, Robert William, Perception of Gasoline Taxes and Driver Cost: Implications for Highway Finance (December 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2537642 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2537642

Ronald C. Fisher

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems ( email )

270 North Business Complex
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
United States
517-355-2326 (Phone)

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-0293 (Phone)

Robert William Wassmer (Contact Author)

California State University, Sacramento - Department of Public Policy & Administration ( email )

Sacramento, CA 95819-6081
United States
916-278-6304 (Phone)
916-278-6544 (Fax)

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