Alabama Gas tax: How your money will be spent

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By Andrew Donley, AL.COM

The gas tax was signed into law by Governor Ivey Tuesday and it’s going to cost you.

On top of ten cents per-gallon, you’ll pay an additional license tax and registration fee: $13 for cars, $7 dollars for motorcycles.

If you drive electric it will cost you $200 and hybrid drivers can expect to pay $130.

Then every four years after that, add three additional dollars.

Some drivers aren’t thrilled about the tax.

“Very surprised, especially from a republican governor,” said driver Jerome Webster.

“I am proposing strong manageable budgets, which responsibly funds state government, without raising taxes,” said Governor Ivey in a 2018 speech.

The money will go beyond your roads and bridges. The first thing that comes up in the bill is port authority projects, as lawmakers say they’re widening and deepening ports in Alabama.

That’s going to come in at around $11 million each year, something the governor did not bring up during her news conference. Governor Ivey mentioned “roads, bridges, concrete and asphalt” in a 2019 news conference.

Another issue in the paperwork: ALDOT will swap $400,000 in state funding with counties for their annual federal funds coming in at more than $530,000.

That allows ALDOT to use it at it’s discretion, as long as it’s consistent with the Federal Highway Administrations procedures.

Attorney Ed Merrill spoke with me about what the constitution states regarding gas tax spending. The bill promises to only put it to use for road work, including public waterways.

Merrill says the constitution allows gas pump taxes to be spent at the states discretion.

“Based on 354, it could allow them to use the ten cents per-gallon that they’re using on pump tax for some of those other non-road or bridge or highway projects,” said Merrill.

Rep. Bill Poole, the author of the bill, says the new tax revenue will be accounted for.

“There will be severe consequences if there is non-compliance, and we will require 100% compliance with those very tight restrictions to make sure all of these dollars go to roads and bridges,” said Rep. Poole.

In Alabama waterways are considered public highways.