Fifty-five percent of “Tennessee members of the National Federation of Independent Business [NFIB], the nation’s leading small-business association,” oppose Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase proposal to fund road construction, the NFIB said in a statement released on Monday.
“NFIB’s policy positions are based on the direct input of our members,” Jim Brown, state director of NFIB, said in the statement:
When asked if they support or oppose a proposed seven-cent increase in the gas tax and 12-cent increase in the diesel tax, 55 percent of NFIB members responding to the survey oppose, 40 percent support, and 5 percent are undecided.
Respondents were more definitive about the proposal to “index” future gas tax increases to changes in the Consumer Price Index, Brown said. Seventy-five percent of respondents oppose, while 19 percent support and 5 percent are undecided.
“Small business owners . . . are clearly opposed to indexing because they believe it would bypass future legislatures and increase revenues automatically without making the case for specific infrastructure needs,” Brown said.
Brown said a few parts of the proposal registered modest or mixed support.
Sixty-two percent support the proposed $100 annual fee on electric vehicles and increasing charges on vehicles using alternative fuels, while 30 percent oppose.
Fifty-four percent support a 3 percent charge on rental vehicles while 35 percent oppose.
Fifty-three percent support a $5 increase in the car registration fee, while 42 percent oppose.
Fifty-two percent support a local government referendum option to impose a sales-tax surcharge used solely for public transit projects, while 36 percent oppose.
As The Tennessee Star reported last week, an earlier poll showed that 53 percent of of registered Republican voters in Tennessee oppose the governor’s gas tax increase proposal, while only 28 percent support it.
A survey of a membership group, such as the NFIB, is different from a poll, which attempts to ascertain current opinions of the general public using tested statistical methodologies.