Poll: Michigan voters say schools, not roads are priority

Published On: May 28 2014 06:32:52 PM EDT   Updated On: May 29 2014 02:54:59 AM EDT

Just 36.8% of Michigan voters would support a tax increase to fund improved road maintenance.


According to an exclusive Local 4/Detroit News poll, just 36.8% of Michigan voters would support a tax increase to fund improved road maintenance.

A plurality of voters, 45.5%, would not support a tax increase to pay for roads because they believe enough money is already budgeted for road maintenance but it needs to be more wisely spent. Another 15% of voters also oppose a tax increase, saying lawmakers need to find money somewhere else to fix roads, even if it means less money for other priorities like schools or health care.

View/download: Poll results

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to support more taxes for better roads, but independent voters are most opposed to a tax hike. Just 28.7% would support such a plan.

More important than increasing road funding, said Michigan voters, is boosting funding to the state’s public schools.  By a 59.5%-26.2% margin, voters chose schools over roads as the greater priority.

Education found support with both younger and older voters, metro Detroiters and out-of-staters, as well as with Republicans, Democrats, and independents. 

Majorities of union members and non-union members, African-American and white voters, men and women all said they preferred funding for education over roads.

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