We’re now one step closer to paying more at the pump.
A plan to raise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel in Alabama by 10 cents a gallon over three years to fund road construction moved forward Monday when the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee approved it without a single “No” vote.
The bills had easily passed the House of Representatives on Friday and committee approval on Monday set the legislation up for votes in the Senate on Tuesday (March 12th). The state tax on gasoline would go from 18 cents a gallon to 24 cents this year, and it would go up another two cents in 2020 and an additional two cents in 2021. The state’s diesel tax, which is now 19 cents a gallon would increase the same way.
This would be the first increase in state fuel taxes since 1992.
The increase would raise an estimated $320 million a year with the Alabama Department of Transportation receiving 67% of the new revenue – counties would be allocated 25% – and the municipalities 8%. Beginning in 2023 the tax would be adjusted according to a national highway construction cost index and that could change the tax by a penny every two years.
The Alabama House passed the main bill in the plan, HB2, by a vote of 84 – 20 after around five hours of debate Friday. Only 18 of 77 Republicans and two of 28 Democrats voted no. Republicans hold 27 of the 35 seats in the Senate. The committee’s vote Monday was 12 – 0 with only Republican senators voting. The only two Democratic members of the committee were not present.