A statewide survey finds a majority of Louisiana residents support higher taxes if the tax revenues go towards public schools, colleges, health care and roads. But Director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab, Michael Henderson, says their poll doesn’t mean taxpayers are completely fine with just higher taxes to fund government.
“Most people want spending cuts to be part of an overall solution to the budget, maybe not to those specific areas, but they want to find those cuts somewhere else,” Henderson said.
Henderson says their survey also found the public does not support higher taxes to pay for prisons, food stamps or other welfare programs. He says when it comes to raising taxes to pay for key services, it’s not clear what taxes the public would like to see raised.
“There’s very few folks in Louisiana that say I pay too little in income tax, or I pay too little in sales tax,” Henderson said.
Henderson says there’s more clarity when it comes to raising the gasoline tax to pay for highway improvements. He says a majority of respondents favor increasing the state’s tax on gasoline, but support from Republicans falls when you ask about a 20 cent per gallon hike.
“It’s not until you get to a 20 cent per gallon increase, where you still have a majority of Democrats and a majority of the overall population, but no longer a majority of Republicans supporting an increase in the gasoline tax,” Henderson said.