Ivey Calls For Lower Taxes

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the Rebuilding Alabama Infrastructure Plan today in Chilton County which proposed a 10-cent gas tax increase.

According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, 30 percent of major roads and highways in Alabama range from poor to mediocre conditions because of inadequate state and local funding.

Ivey said that funds from the tax increase would go toward improving the state’s roads, bridges and infrastructure.

“This team effort is just proof positive that when you work together, you get positive results,” Ivey said.

In Maplesville, Ivey said new revenue generated by the increase will be dispersed between state, county and municipal governments in Alabama.

“Investing in infrastructure will be the ticket, it will be our ticket to continue to recruit good jobs, to growing the productivity of our port and by doing so growing manufacturing, agricultural and retail industries,” Ivey said. “Investing in infrastructure will also make it safer for our family and friends on the roads as they drive.”

The tax increase is currently planned to be gradually implemented over the next three years. For each one-cent increase, around $32 million in new revenue would be generated. With the full 10-cent increase, more than $300 million new revenue would go towards the state.

“This is truly an investment in our state,” Republican House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said. “When it comes to our economy, which produces jobs.”

Ivey said the announcement was held in rural Chilton County to show how badly improvements are needed. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton said that rural districts like his need this change.

“When we look in our communities, roads and bridges are just as important to us as they are to Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville,” Singleton said. “I have hundreds of miles of dirt roads that are in my district.”

Supporters of the bill from both sides of the aisle rallied on the idea that this may not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s the right thing.

“It is not the easiest thing to do,” Singleton said. “Because a lot is going to look at this as raising a tax on the people. This is an opportunity for us to make it right this time.”

A University of Alabama study found cars and trucks are putting 69 billion miles on the state’s roads every year, a 17 percent increase over the last 15 years. The gas tax increase bill will be voted on in the upcoming legislative session as part of a bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Poole from Tuscaloosa.

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