Drivers have mixed feelings about governor's proposed gas tax increase

The tax hasn't gone up since 1992, and Governor Ivey said adequate funding is imperative to repair roads and bridges.

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 10:07 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2019 10:45 PM

WAAY 31 got mixed reactions Wednesday night when we talked to people at the pump about the proposed 10 cent gas tax increase. Some people said 10 cents was a bit much, but others said it would be money well spent.

"I'd prefer to have good, safe roads without big potholes and chunks out of them, so I'm in favor of it," Phil Owen said.

Owen told us he thinks adding 10 cents to Alabama's fuel tax is a worthwhile investment.

"Here in Huntsville with the increase of traffic and people the roads really do need a lot of repair," Owen said.

Heather Lawson wants road repairs but just not at the cost proposed by the governor.

"I think 10 cents is a little much. Maybe something like two cents," Lawson said.

The governor's plan puts the money generated by the increase toward transportation infrastructure improvements as well as preservation and maintenance projects. Owen likes the idea under one condition: the money has to be used on roads.

"Problem is when they start taking money saying 'hey we need money for roads,' but yet we put it in over here and spend it over there," Owen said.

In an interview with local radio host Jeff Poor, Mayor Tommy Battle said he supports the part of the plan where some proceeds from the gas tax would be used to fund the Port of Mobile's expansion. Battle said helping Mobile will help Huntsville, especially when Mazda-Toyota starts shipping out cars using roads and eventually the port.

"As long as the money's not put in the general fund and is specifically allocated for road repair and improvement I think that's fine," Owen said.

WAAY 31 also spoke to representatives from both Madison and Huntsville public works departments over the phone and they both agreed more money for road repair is needed.

If it's passed by state legislature during the upcoming session, Governor Ivey's proposed 10 cent increase will roll out over three years.

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