By Lydia Nusbaum, WSFA
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – With crumbling roads and lagging infrastructure, leaders have called for more money to fix them, and it could come in the form of a gas tax increase.
Greg Cochran with the League of Municipalities said Tuesday there was an agreement between the governor, counties and cities to increase the state gas tax by 12 cents, on top of current gas tax. Lawmakers would need to approve it.
“We’re looking forward to talking with counties and the governor on adequate funding for cities,” Cochran said.
The tax has not been touched in 26 years and there has been debate on how to divide up gas tax money. Cochran said eight more cents would go to the state, three more cents to counties, and one more cent to cities.
Many mayors are on board with this, including Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. He said the city had over 300,000 more visitors in 2018.
“So what I would say is if you’re going to use the roads, let’s pay for making them smooth and inviting,” Strange said.
Opelika’s mayor said the city would use the money for roundabouts, bridges and street projects.
“If we’re going to have infrastructure, if we’re going to have schools, if we’re going to have these things, we’re going to have to pay for it,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.
City of Athens mayor is also on board with a user fee.
“Thousands and thousands of jobs and people are needing the infrastructure to get back and forth to work,” said Athens Mayor William Marks.
Gov. Kay Ivey said in her inaugural address infrastructure is a priority. Ivey’s office sent the following statement:
The Association of County Commissions of Alabama has been involved with the discussions. They have been advocating for more money for county roads. Sonny Brasfield provided a statement:
The gas tax is anticipated to be a major topic during the legislative session. It begins March 5th.