Gas Prices on the Rise
August 28, 2019
Southern Torch (3854 articles)
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Gas Prices on the Rise

By Marla Jones, Managing Editor

DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. — Northeast Alabama drivers and motorists across the state will now pay more for gasoline beginning next week as a new tax takes effect.

The Rebuild Alabama Act levies an additional phased 10-cent excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel.

The money will go to the state, as well as city and county governments, for bridge and road construction and maintenance. Part of the funds would be set aside for improvements to the Mobile Bay shipping channel.

A six cent increase will become effective September 1, raising the tax rate per gallon to 24 cents per gallon of gas and 25 cents per gallon for diesel.

The second phase of the increase will be effective on October 1, 2020, with two cents more per gallon added for gas and diesel. An additional two cents per gallon will be levied on October 1, 2021.

After the initial 10-cent increase, beginning October 1, 2023, and on July 1 of every year, the tax rate will be adjusted by the percentage change in the yearly average of the National Highway Construction Cost Index (rounded to the nearest whole cent).

According to the legislation, the increase or decrease of the excise tax will not exceed one cent per gallon. Alabama’s gasoline tax has remained at 18 cents per gallon and diesel at 19 cents per gallon since 1992.

Most of the revenue from the tax will go to state road and bridge projects, but towns, counties and cities would see additional funds allocated for roads and bridges. Each one cent increase is estimated to be worth $32 million in new revenue; the full 10-cent increase will raise more than $300 million.

Prior to the legislation’s passing, Gov. Kay Ivey promoted the fuel tax plan as an infrastructure solution. Republican Majority Leader Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter strongly supported the bills passage, as did all of DeKalb County’s legislators with only Rep. Tommy Haynes opposing.

“Many of my colleagues chose to vote for the tax. That’s their right to represent their districts the way they feel. I respect that,” said Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant). “Now it’s a wait-and-see situation. Only time will tell. However, I have the right to represent my District the way I feel is right for the people. I think it will place a burden on the working class as well as the senior citizens and the poor. I wish that the Legislature could’ve found a different solution rather than a tax.”

Many mayors, city officials and county commissioners heralded the Rebuild Alabama Act as a potential driver of economic growth and as a method of addressing transportation safety concerns.

“In years past, we have been losing ground on the roads. The gas tax will enable us to start improving DeKalb County roads,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Lester Black. “In two years time, we will more than double the resurfacing we are currently able to do. All in all, the tax will greatly benefit DeKalb County citizens.”

DeKalb and Jackson Gas Tax Counties Revenue Projections (Full Implementation)

*Figures provided by Association of County Commissions of Alabama*

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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