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Madison Co. residents hopeful Alabama gas tax increase will lead to more local road repairs

The extra money will be split between the state, counties and municipalities, with the state getting the bulk of it.

Posted: Mar. 13, 2019 7:50 PM
Updated: Mar. 13, 2019 9:32 PM

Now that Alabamians will be paying more in gas taxes, WAAY 31 wanted to know how state and local leaders will be spending that money.

Governor Kay Ivey signed the Rebuild Alabama bill on Tuesday, which increases the state gas tax by a dime.

Local and state agencies said it's too soon to know which projects in North Alabama the money will be spent on. Some people in Madison County said they have roads they'd like to see fixed.

"I own a truck, and the front end seems to be wearing more than it ever has. Flat tires is the norm," said Kenneth Shelton, who works in Huntsville.

Many people said they've noticed how rough the roads are.

"There definitely are certain areas where there are potholes and certain things you have to go around," said Molly Jones, who lives in Huntsville. "It's awful. Myself and my business partner, Angela, try not to be on the Parkway as much as possible, because it does get so congested during the lunch hour and the morning and night commute."

In September, the gas tax will go up for the first time since 1992. By 2022, Alabamians will be paying 28 cents a gallon in taxes and 29 cents a gallon for diesel. It's estimated the extra 10 cents will cost the average driver $55 a year.

"We're going to be taxed on something, why not something that's going to be better for everybody?" said Shelton.

Shelton hopes to see updates to Winchester Road going into New Market, since part of the heavily-traveled road is only two lanes.

"It is getting so dangerous now, that it's awful," said Shelton.

He also thinks attention has to be focused on Interstate 565.

"The Toyota plant and others going out in the area, that's always going to be a thing to be considered to be worked on," said Shelton.

The new law will force the Alabama Department of Transportation to hold meetings with the governor's office and other agencies and to be transparent about how the money is spent. A spokesperson for the department said he should have a list of priority projects in the coming months.

The extra money will be split between the state, counties and municipalities, with the state getting the bulk of it.

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