Alabama Bill Would Hike Gas and Diesel Taxes by a Nickel, and Then Some
"A committee in the Alabama House of Representatives gave its approval Monday to a bill that would add a 5-cent-per-gallon tax to gasoline and diesel fuel," writes Tim Lockette for The Anniston Star. On Thursday, it goes to the full House, one of eight tax and fee increases needed to balance a budget shortfall, according to the ABC3340 video report.
The bill [HB28], which now moves to the full House for a vote, would automatically add a 2-cent-per-gallon increase in some years, if the price of gas falls within a limit set by a complex formula outlined in the bill.
The Associated Press clarifies that depending on the price of gas and diesel, the tax could decrease as well. What's unusual is that the tax will only change in two-cent increments. Adjustments will be made based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the price of gas and diesel according to that "complex formula" Lockette mentions. See HB28 text for more information [PDF].
The state's 20.87 cents per gallon gas tax "hasn't increased the per-gallon tax since 1992 and can't continue to operate on 1990s revenue levels," state the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R- Huntsville.
Our last post on Alabama transportation funding was on a 2010 proposal to use funds "from an investment account that generates earnings to support Medicaid, prisons, public health and other non-education state services" to pay for roads, typical of state legislators that will resort to diverting existing revenue streams rather than increasing fuel taxes.
“We’re opposed to the bill,” Sizemore said. “It is a massive increase, and it’s not good for the economy.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, Alabama had the 11th lowest gas prices in the nation as of April [PDF].
Hat tip: AASHTO Daily Journal Update.