MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With crumbling roads and bridges all over Alabama, there’s a growing call to generate new revenue to make needed repairs. Much of that call has been aimed at a gasoline tax increase.
Alabama’s gas tax rate hasn’t changed since 1992 when it was raised to the current 18 cents per gallon.
On Thursday, the Alabama Forestry Association released results of a statewide poll to gauge residents’ temperature on the idea. The poll, which sampled around 600 registered voters with 19 questions, was conducted in mid-February.
The AFA says it believes raising news taxes should be a last resort, but if they’re necessary, AFA says taxpayers should know how their money is being spent and believes there should be a strategic vision
A majority of the respondents (51 percent) rated the state’s roads and bridges as “fair” and strongly believe that the state needs to spend more money on infrastructure. A similar rate (52 percent) said they would be more likely to support the increase if they learned it had been nearly 30 years since the last increase.
But residents were divided on a fuel tax increase. Responses were 45 percent “yes” and 48 percent “no.” A majority of those who supported it would like to see an increase of around 3 cents.
That’s well below the 12 cent increase the Alabama League of Municipalities said earlier in the week had been agreed upon by the governor, counties and cities. The league said a 12 cent increase would break down to eight cents for the state, three for the counties, and one for the cities.
The AFA also asked about a fuel tax increase in connection to the state’s often panned grocery tax. Nearly 62 percent said they would be in favor of increasing gas taxes if the state reduced grocery taxes by the same amount, effectively making the increase revenue neutral.
You can read each poll question and see the full results by clicking HERE.
The gas tax is expected to be a major topic during the legislative session, which begins March 5.