Scott Young, News Editor
In March 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that would implement a 10 cent gas tax increase over the next three years. The first increase, of six cents, is set to take effect Sept 1.
The Rebuild Alabama Act, introduced and signed by Ivey, was designed to fund the construction of new roads and bridges in Alabama. The funds are to be dispersed among state, county and local governments for “transportation infrastructure improvement, preservation and maintenance projects.”
“After 27 years of stagnation, adequate funding is imperative to fixing our many roads and bridges in dire need of repair,” said Governor Ivey, announcing her plan. “By increasing our investment in infrastructure, we are also making a direct investment in public safety, economic development, and the prosperity of our state.”
Ivey cites a University of Alabama Transportation Institute report to justify the gas tax increase, which says that 69 billion miles are driven on Alabama roads each year.
Of the entire gas tax increase, 66 percent goes to the state, 25 percent goes to the counties and eight percent goes to the cities. Another portion of the funds would be used to pay a bond that would be issued to finance improvements to the Mobile Bay shipping channel.
The Alabama Department of Transportation says it will generate $122 million in fiscal year 2020 from the gas tax.
Later incremental increases include two cents on Oct. 1, 2020 and another two cents on Oct. 1, 2021.