State lawmakers prep for state gas tax increase

Gas tax set to increase in September

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In less than two months you will pay more money when you buy gas - 6 cents more per gallon to be exact.

This comes after lawmakers passed a statewide gas tax increase earlier this year. It is a 10 cent gas tax increase that phases in over the next three years.

The 6 cent increase begins Sept. 1. In 2020 it increases by 2 cents and by another 2 cents in 2021.

The money is supposed to go toward roads, bridges and the Port of Mobile.

“We are going to make our state look so much better and that it is going to provide so much opportunity," said Sen. Roger Smitherman, D-Birmingham.

Alabama Department of Transportation says the new gas tax will generate $122 million for fiscal year 2020.

A Joint Transportation Committee made up of 24 lawmakers met Wednesday. One of the committee's jobs include overseeing how ALDOT spends that money.

“I am very confident that this money is going to go to roads and bridges just like the legislation requires,” said Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Daphne.

Some lawmakers want more transparency like having a website showing what projects have been completed. Rep. Margie Wilcox, R-Mobile, said Virginia has a good website updating the public.

“I’ve asked ALDOT to come back to us on what other websites and ways we can make sure that we’re transparent to the public," Wilcox said.

Others on the committee want to make sure ALDOT would improve roads in rural areas.

“And I hope there is some equity in your criteria to make sure we aren’t left out because I’m going to be screaming real loud if we are," said Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro.

ALDOT is supposed to submit a plan to the committee during the next meeting on where the department wants to use the gas tax money.

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