Support for a local transit tax

Abstract Survey data from a small, blue collar, midwestern U.S. city are analyzed to identify the factors that influence support for a local tax earmarked for transit. In Council Bluffs, Iowa, a telephone survey was carried out to measure willingness to pay a proposed two mil property tax for transit. Two complementary multivariate techniques, Multiple Classification Analysis and Automatic Interaction Detector, are applied to measure the roles of a series of user and nonuser benefits in support for the tax. The benefits affecting support most strongly proved to be those accruing to nonusers-specificially, the beliefs that transit contributes to cleaner air, stimulates business within the city, and helps the poor to find or keep jobs. The belief that urban government is performing well also strongly affects support. Personal use of transit, use by other members of one's househols, and the view that transit is back-up transportation mode have a very minor effect on support. The conclusion is reached that transit planning should take into consideration social objectives as well as performance measures to ensure continued support.