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Most Americans Say Green Efforts Pay Off For Communities

Most Americans believe local efforts to be environmentally sensitive by “going green” will pay off for their communities by attracting new businesses and development, creating “green collar jobs” and boosting the local economy, a new United States Conference of Mayors/Zogby poll finds.

The results of the survey show strong support for community initiatives that focus on the environment. More than half – 56 percent– believe their local government should “go green” and make environmentally friendly and energy efficient changes throughout their local community, even if they may have to significantly change their lifestyle.

Majorities also believe that if their local communities adopt more environmentally friendly policies, there will be a positive impact on the local economy. They think green technology will create new local jobs make their communities better places to live. Nearly half (48%) say they would be willing to pay higher taxes if the increase would fund environmentally friendly improvements in their community.

The results of the survey were presented by Zogby International President and CEO John Zogby on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008, during the 76th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and included a discussion of top priorities for Americans as the 2008 election season gets underway.

Many Americans are already taking conservation efforts into their own hands – 68 percent say that in their personal lives they have already adopted water conservation measures. The survey also shows more than half of Americans – 53 percent – say they would be willing to use mass transit if it were easily accessible from their homes and where they work, and the pressure of rising gas prices may make it an even more attractive alternative. Two in three (65%) said the raising price of gasoline makes them more likely to consider using mass transit and 44 percent would be willing to pay higher taxes if they knew all the added taxes were being spent on improving or creating public transportation where they live.

Although most Americans express dissatisfaction with the overall rate of return they receive for their tax dollars, they view the use of their local taxes more favorably than the taxes they pay on the state and federal levels. Nearly four in 10 (39%) believe their receive the best service in relation to the amount of taxes they pay at the local level, compared with 16% who believe they receive the most benefit from state taxes and 13% who believe their federal tax dollars give them the greatest return.

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