Legal challenge planned for Alabama’s new gas tax

Tom Fredricks plans to challenge the newly passed gas tax
Tom Fredricks plans to challenge the newly passed gas tax
Updated: Mar. 27, 2019 at 9:17 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - A former candidate for the Alabama State House is challenging Governor Kay Ivey’s gas tax bill.

Tom Fredricks says the Port of Mobile shouldn’t get tax dollars from the newly passed bill because the Port is not a road or bridge.

Fredricks is now working with attorneys to challenge the law.

He says that Amendment 354 of the state constitution guarantees money should only be used to fund roads and bridges.

“If we are going to have a gas tax than it needs to be spent on roads and bridges," said Fredricks. "We were going to do and that’s what people were lead to believe.”

Each month Mobile is getting up to $980,000 of gas tax revenue that will be used to repay the debt on the ship channel widening project.

“There is a section in that act that diverts approximate $12 million a year to the Port of Mobile dreading project," said Fredricks.

Fredricks legal team argues Amendment 354 of the state constitution restricts gas tax money to only be used to fix and maintain public highways and bridges.

However, state lawmakers who are for funding the Port of Mobile argue Section 24 of the Alabama Constitution states navigable waters are considered public highways.

Still, Fredrick and his legal team plan to file a lawsuit against the state.

“They [the Court] could knock down our complaint and say now you guys are wrong game over,” admitted Fredricks. “They could say you guys are right and severance doesn’t apply so then then this whole bill could go back to the legislature for a rewrite.”

Fredricks says he expects to file a lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court this week.

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