Alabama Legislature

Gas Tax Revisit Bill Uncertain in House

Alabama Seal

A bill to stop the possible automatic increases or decreases in Alabama’s new gas tax was on a House committee schedule for this week but was pulled.

“1 guess the committee members don’t want to have face (the gas tax) again,” said Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville. He’s chairman of the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee.

The gas tax legislation that lawmakers and Gov. Kay Ivey approved in March calls for a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase to be fully implemented in 2021. After 2021, the gas tax can increase or decrease by 1 cent every two years, indefinitely, depending on the National Highway Construction Cost Index.

House Bill 149 terminates the indexing in 2039. Bill sponsor Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, said that many of the constituents he spoke to weren’t opposed to the gas tax but didn’t like the price indexing.

“It’s a response to many of my constituents who had concerns about this one piece of the legislation,” Garrett said last week. “After 20 years, let’s let a future legislature look at it and see if it’s working.”

The gas tax is expected to generate about $320 a year. About $11.7 million a year would fund improvements at the Port of Mobile.

In the Senate, Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, is expected to file this week a bill to direct $10 million a year to publicly owned inland ports, such as ones in Decatur and Florence.

Greer said that bill “has good intent” and does not impact the gas tax’s potential revenue.