Alabama Passes Gas Tax Increase
March 13, 2019
Southern Torch (3574 articles)
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Alabama Passes Gas Tax Increase

By Zach Hester, Reporter • zach@southerntorch.com (Photo by Mike Cason | al.com)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — On Tuesday, after passage through the Alabama House of Representatives and the State Senate, Governor Kay Ivey signed the Rebuild Alabama Act into law. This is the first time that the gas tax has been raised since 1992.

The Rebuild Alabama Act will raise fuel taxes by ten cents per gallon over the next three years and includes additional tax measures like annual fees for electrical and hybrid vehicles.

At February’s meeting of the DeKalb County Commission, District 1 Commissioner Shane Wootten stated, “Right now, in DeKalb County, and most other counties in this state, the infrastructure is in a state of crisis.”

“We haven’t had an increase in infrastructure [funding] since 1992,” he continued. “Since that time, road construction costs have went up over tenfold.” Wootten went on to state that necessary infrastructure improvements could improve the odds that Alabama, and DeKalb County, become a more appealing place for companies to begin working in.

The bill passed the House last Friday by a margin of 83-20. It passed the Senate on Tuesday by a margin of 28-6 with Senators Barfoot, McClendon, Roberts, Shelnutt, Stutts and Figures being the few dissenters. Senator Priscilla Dunn (D-Birmingham) was absent for the vote.

Before the vote, Sen. Vivian Davis Figures stated that she would oppose the gas tax because of how it would affect the poor and because of the Governor’s refusal to have talks on expanding Medicaid in the state.

“Gas is a necessity…I still know and see people who go into a service station who get five or 10 dollars’ worth of gas because they can’t afford a full tank,” said Figures. “I cannot vote yes on this way to pay for the infrastructure.”

The state Republican Party executive committee voted at their meeting last month to oppose a gas tax hike without offsetting it with a tax decrease somewhere else.

“There’s no doubt in my mind [that] today is a game changer for the State of Alabama,” said House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) as he thanked fellow legislative leaders for their work on the gas tax passage.

When signing the bill, Governor Ivey stated, “What the members of the Alabama Legislature have done today is to improve Alabama’s infrastructure for generations to come.”

The bill will raise the gas tax from 18 cents to 24 cents beginning in September 2019 with two cent raises per year in 2020 and 2021. Beginning in 2023, the gas tax will be adjusted annually according to the national highway construction cost index.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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