Washington state voters are willing to pay higher taxes to support a variety of community services, including roads and public transportation, according to a public poll released Thursday.
The Elway Poll reported that 74 percent of voters surveyed last week said they supported higher local taxes for roads and 60 percent said they supported higher taxes for transit. Other popular services included fire protection (75 percent), schools (73 percent), libraries (64 percent) and parks and recreation (61 percent). Higher taxes for jails earned only 39 percent support.
The results are noteworthy because of Tuesday’s ballot deadline for King County Proposition 1, which would add a tenth of a cent to the sales tax and set an annual car-tab fee of $60 to maintain Metro Transit service at current levels and to help fund road and transportation projects.
But the pollster, Stuart Elway, cautioned that telling somebody on the phone that you would theoretically support a tax increase is different than actually voting for it. Plus, he said, the respondents who said they were least likely to support tax increases said they were the most likely to vote.
“These results need to be taken with a grain or two of salt,” said Elway, adding that “it is not possible to extrapolate from these results to a specific local ballot.”
The telephone survey of 504 voters, conducted April 9-13, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.