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AMERICANS OPPOSE GAS TAX HIKE, AAA SURVEY SHOWS

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Three out of four Americans are opposed to a 25-cent per gallon increase in the gasoline tax, including 51 percent who are "strongly" opposed, according to results of a public opinion survey released today by the American Automobile Association.
 In a random telephone survey of 1,000 households nationwide, conductes of gender, age and income.
 Seventy-two percent of Americans favor increasing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 45 miles per gallon to increasing the gas tax by 50 cents per gallon.
 "These survey results should send a clear message to the gas tax proponents inside the Washington Beltway, that Americans really care about this issue," said Darryl Wyland, AAA senior vice president of Public and Government Relations.
 In a joint news conference here today with a coalition of groups representing agriculture, tourism, organized labor and other transportation users, Wyland said the gas tax is about being honest with Americans.
 "Why should we keep raising the gas tax when right now $21 billion languishes in the Federal Highway Trust Fund, unspent for any useful purpose other than to make the deficit look better," Wyland stated.
 "It's about regional inequities," he said. "Why should a resident of Arkansas pay almost twice as much as a resident of the District of Columbia to cut the federal deficit, solely because the person in Arkansas must drive longer distances?
 "And, it's about the economy. Why should we reduce the Gross Domestic Product, increase inflation, raise unemployment and generally harm the economy -- all of which would occur with a fuel tax increase, according to published studies -- simply to satisfy gas tax advocates?"
 Wyland said AAA has already written to President Clinton applauding his public statements that the last thing the United States needs now is a gas tax increase which burdens the middle class of the economy.
 "Trying to balance the budget at the gas pump would hurt the economy and it will incur the wrath of consumers," he said.
 AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 139 motor clubs with more than 1,000 offices providing its 34 million members in the U.S. and Canada with travel, insurance, financial and auto-related services.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Dick Hebert, 202-942-2050, or Jerry Cheske, 407-444-8000, both of the American Automobile Association/


CO: American Automobile Association ST: Florida IN: AUT SU: ECO

AW-JB -- FL004 -- 4549 02/09/93 10:31 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993
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