FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2021
For more information contact:
Ken Dautrich, The STATS Group
New Connecticut Poll Shows Vast Majority of Residents Unhappy with Gas Prices and Fees; State Entry into TCI Program Opposed by 2 to 1 Margin
Cromwell, CT – Labor Day weekend is one of the most heavily traveled times of the year, and a new Connecticut poll demonstrates that the vast majority of Connecticut motorists oppose new government programs, like the recently proposed “Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) Program”, and additional fees and taxes that will increase the cost of gasoline.
The state-wide survey, conducted between August 24th and September 1st with 503 Connecticut residents showed that increase in gas prices under TCI underlies this strong opposition to the plan with 78% of those surveyed stating that the TCI-caused price increases in the first year would be too high and 77% saying that the increased gas price at full implementation of the TCI program would be too. Strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents say these increases are too high.
“We have long known what consumers think about higher gas prices and this poll proves it,” said David Savin of Aldin Associates, a Connecticut company that owns local gasoline stations and convenience stores in Connecticut. “As a family-owned business in East Hartford, we understand the impact higher taxes and fees will have on our customers who are impacted when these are added to the product price and the TCI tax will hit the people who can least afford it the hardest.”
In the survey, the vast majority (82%) of Connecticut residents feel that the additional fees and costs that will be added on from joining the TCI program would place an unfair burden on low- and middle-income residents with all political groups, Democrats (81%) Republicans (90%) and independents (86%) agreeing that it would be an unfair cost burden on low- and middle-income residents.
“The results of this poll overwhelmingly demonstrate that Connecticut residents are unwilling to tolerate TCI and the cost impact it will have on what are already the highest gasoline taxes in New England,” explained CEMA Executive Director Chris Herb. “Why should low-income residents be assessed new taxes and fees to fund expensive Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations for the wealthy residents to use?”
The survey also showed that the opposition to the TCI program was large because respondents believe that consumers should not be burdened with the cost of building electric charging stations (68%) and that state government should not raise gas prices to make it less attractive for consumers to buy gas-powered vehicles (62%).
“People are generally sensitive to inflation right now, and since most of them drive, they are especially concerned about the high spike in gas prices over the past 6 months, said Ken Dautrich of the STATS Group, who conducted the survey. “It’s not surprising at all that Connecticut residents largely reject the state’s entry into TCI program.”
By more than a 2 to 1 margin (57% to 27%), Connecticut residents oppose the state’s entry into the new TCI program. Opposition is strong, and deep, throughout all surveyed categories, with two-thirds of those opposing say they “strongly” oppose the plan.
- The vast majority of CT residents are unhappy with the current price of gasoline in the state. Seventy-six percent say that the cost of gas in CT is too high and 74% feel that the current 44 cent tax on gas is too high. Eighty-eight percent say it is a problem that CT has the highest cost of gasoline in New England, with as many as 68% saying this is a “big” problem. Strong majorities of Democrats (70%), Republicans (88%) and independents (82%) all say gas prices are too high in Connecticut.
- By more than a 2 to 1 margin (57% to 27%), CT residents oppose the state’s entry into the TCIP program. Opposition is strong — two-thirds of those opposing say they “strongly” oppose the plan. By better than 3-to-1 margins, Republicans and independents oppose TCIP. Even among Democrats opposition (45%) exceeds support (39%) for entry into TCIP.
- The increase in gas prices under TCIP underlies this strong opposition to the plan. 80% feel the estimated 5-9 cent increase in a gallon of gas in the first year of TCIP is too high, and 79% say the 25-cent increase by year 10 is too high. Strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents say these increases are too high.
- Moreover, the vast majority (82%) of CT residents feel that the additional fees on gas under TCIP places an unfair burden on low- and middle-income residents. Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree that this is an unfair cost burden on low- and middle-income residents.
- Also underlying opposition to TCIP is the view that consumers should not be burdened with the cost of building electric charging stations (7-in-10 agree with this); and that state government should not raise gas prices to make it less attractive for consumers to buy gas-powered vehicles (62% feel this way).
The online poll was conducted with 503 adult residents from Connecticut. Interviews were conducted from August 24 through September 1, 2021. Sampling error for the poll is +/-4.5% at the 95% level of confidence. The poll was designed and conducted by The Stats Group, a Connecticut-based polling firm, under the direction of Dr. Ken Dautrich.
- Do you think the cost of gasoline in Connecticut is currently too high, too low, or about right?
- Currently, the tax on gasoline in Connecticut is 44 cents per gallon. Do you think this is too high, too low, or about right?
- The cost of gasoline in Connecticut is the highest in all of the New England states. Do you think this is a big problem, a small problem or not a problem at all?
- The Connecticut state legislature is considering a bill known as the Transportation Climate Initiative Program (TCIP). The goal of TCIP is to reduce gasoline use in cars and trucks and increase government investments in cleaner transportation. This would be done by placing new additional fees on the gasoline you buy at the pump. Have you read or heard anything about this?
- The Transportation Climate Initiative Program (TCIP) would provide funding to build more charging stations for electric cars, expand biking and walking trails and improve public transportation. To fund the TCIP, the cost of gasoline would increase 5 to 9 cents per gallon starting in January of 2022, and then gradually increase over the next ten years to 25 cents per gallon. Do you favor or oppose having the Connecticut legislature pass this into law? Do you strongly or mildly (favor/oppose) it?
- Do you think that increasing the cost per gallon of gas in Connecticut next year by 5 to 9 cents is way too much, a little too much or about right?
- Do you think that increasing the cost per gallon of gas in Connecticut ten years from now by 25 cents is way too much, a little too much or about right?
- Some people argue that the increased fees on gasoline are a greater financial burden to lower and middle income people because they can’t afford to pay more for gasoline than wealthier people. Do you agree or disagree that new additional fees on gasoline is unfair to low and middle income people?
- Some people say that government using money from TCIP to do things like add more electric charging stations places the cost burden of adding stations on taxpayers rather than companies profiting from electric car sales. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- Some people say that government should raise the price of gasoline to make it less attractive for consumers to buy gasoline powered cars and more attractive to buy electric cars. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- Some people say that government should raise gasoline prices to fund projects, such as building more electric pumping stations, that will make it more attractive for consumers to purchase electric vehicles. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- Do you consider yourself a Democrat, Republican, independent or something else?
- Are you a male or female?
- What is your age?
- What is your total household annual income before taxes?