MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Following her State of the State address Tuesday night, Gov. Kay Ivey called a special session focused on her proposed gas tax.
According to the governor’s office, the special session “will focus on legislation to levy an additional excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, legislation concerning the Legislature’s Permanent Joint Transportation Committee to provide for effective legislative oversight of the Alabama Department of Transportation, and legislation to provide the Alabama Highway Finance Corporation with authority to borrow money and issue bonds for the purpose of improving the Alabama State Docks and the Mobile Bay ship channel.”
The special session will be focused “solely on passing this critical infrastructure legislation,” Ivey said.
On Feb. 27, Ivey announced her Rebuild Alabama Infrastructure Plan, which includes raising the state’s fuel tax rate for the first time in nearly three decades.
Ivey says the state’s infrastructure is crumbling and believes a 10-cent per gallon tax increase on fuel purchases, implemented over a three-year period, is the solution. The phase-in would be for six cents in 2019, two cents in 2020, and two cents in 2021. Officials will use a price index that would raise the tax no more than one cent every two years.
The state’s current fuel tax rate stands at 18 cents per gallon of gas (and 19 on diesel), which Ivey said hasn’t changed, “not even a nickel,” since the early 1990s.
During the state of the state address Tuesday night, Ivey said she was “willing” to call the special session.
“Almost three decades have gone by, and Alabama has not made one change to our infrastructure funding,” she said. “While our neighboring states are increasing their revenue for their transportation budgets, Alabama has not. We are dead last.”