Madison County leaders respond to possible gas tax increase

Madison County leaders respond to possible gas tax increase

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey isn’t wasting any time letting us know her goal for the upcoming legislative session. She wants lawmakers to raise the gas tax to help pay for a lot of infrastructure projects.

The last time the gas tax increased was 27 years ago.

If you've driven here in the Tennessee Valley you've noticed a lot of construction and there are a lot of projects still in the pipeline that the gas tax helps pay for.

“Even some of these projects are in Limestone County. 565 where the Mazda Toyota project is. You look at the widening, we need to widen Slaughter Road from 72 all the way to Madison Boulevard. You look at the Zierdt Road construction 21.9 million just approved. There’s a lot of projects that are working but we got to be thinking of the days ahead,” said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

County commissioners across the state sign off on road projects and Strong says regardless of the gas tax, he wants to make sure the people he represents get their fair share of what they already pay.

“We’re keeping our communication with our local delegation wide-open because that’s the thing they’re soon to go into session. It’s critical that the gas tax that’s paid in Madison County returns to Madison County,” said Strong.

With the advancement of technology Strong wants lawmakers to consider a plan for every driver who uses Alabama roads, not just the vehicles that use more gasoline.

"We’ve got cars that are run by battery now that are traveling the same roads. We want to be sure that there’s a fair process that’s going on, but I can assure you, that we’ve communicated with the governor, the speaker of the house, and the transportation director,” said Strong.

Strong has a concern much bigger than with what happens to the gas tax. He say’s how all of the money gets divided is more important.

"The big thing that I am opposed to is taking 50 to 60 million dollars off the top of the three or four largest counties in the state of Alabama,” said Strong.

The idea of raising the gas tax is not new. Back in 2016 and 2017 bills were discussed in the legislature and they stalled. We’ll let you know what happens this year.

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