Jackson wants gas tax to fix roads

Published 6:36 pm Friday, March 28, 2014

Pike County Commissioner Joey Jackson expressed his displeasure of an ever-shrinking roads budget and shared his idea to solve it when he spoke with State Senator Jimmy Holley.
Pike County will join Holley’s district next year.
“The gas revenue has not been increased since 1992 but you’ve got to restructure that tax in some way,” he said at Wednesday’s Republican Women’s meeting. “That’s 22 years we haven’t had an increase.”
Jackson attributed the condition of Pike County Roads to the county’s shrinking revenue.
“It’s economics,” Jackson said. “You’ve got costs this high and your revenue, gas tax is declining. If we would restructure our taxes into a percentage of the gas price, it would close that gap up.”
Currently, Alabama charges 16 cents per gallon for gasoline and 19 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. Fifty-five percent of the revenue collected goes to the counties and their municipalities.
Some counties and cities levy additional gas and diesel taxes ranging from half a cent to five cents per gallon. Sixty percent of the five-cent supplemental tax goes to the State Road and Bridge Fund.
Holley agreed gas prices were an issue. He said there was a correlation between the prices and the amount of gas people were buying. In the 22 years Jackson referred to, fuel-efficient vehicles had found themselves into more Alabama driveway.
“People are buying less gas as the price goes up,” Holley said.
Governor Robert Bentley is seeking solutions and would likely address gas revenue in the coming year.
In the meantime, Alabama’s ATRIP program has picked up the tab for several road projects. Bentley started the Alabama Transportation and Improvement Program in 2012.
Holley’s concern for roads extended beyond district 31 because he said Alabamians traveled outside their own counties.
“We need to take a holistic approach in what we do.”      t roads and bridges,” Holley said. “Because these are the things that bring us together.”

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