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Drivers, local leaders react to potential gas tax increase

WAAY 31 spoke with local leaders about what a tax hike could mean for their communities, and we learned what drivers think about it as well.

Posted: Jan. 16, 2019 8:05 PM
Updated: Jan. 16, 2019 9:00 PM

Governor Kay Ivey is pushing for a gas tax increase, saying the state must improve its infrastructure and gas tax is one way to fund it.

Right now, the state gas tax is 18 cents a gallon. Last year, a measure to gradually increase the tax, starting at 4 cents this year, failed.

The state gas tax hasn't gone up since 1992.

WAAY 31 spoke with local leaders about what a tax hike could mean for their communities, and we learned what drivers think about it as well.

“I’ve seen it all," Brittany White said. "I’ve seen good days and bad days and potholes, and, luckily, I haven’t been able to fit in one yet.”

White grew up in Limestone County and says she knows the roads like the back of her hand, saying she’s learned which ones are bad and which ones to avoid altogether.

“It’s pretty rough out here," she said. "The struggle is real.”

With the county growing and bringing in more traffic, Limestone County commissioners say the roads are only going to get worse, but Governor Ivey’s proposed gas tax increase could help combat that.

White says the roads definitely need to be fixed, but when she learned that could mean a tax hike on gas, she was not a big fan.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I was kind of mad," she said. "That’s not a good solution for anything, to raise anything else that you’re already having to struggle to pay for as it is.”

Other drivers say a tax increase wouldn’t bother them.

“Honestly, I’ll just go along with it," Eric Massingill. "As long as the roads are getting fixed, that’s all I care about.”

White says she thinks there are other ways to pay for the road work.

“Legalize marijuana. Do something else. That is ridiculous. Open the lottery. Think of another option, please," she said.

Limestone County Commissioner Jason Black told WAAY 31 a lot of future road projects will not be able to happen without raising the gas tax.

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