Cities, counties to submit plans detailing how to use new gas tax money

Gas tax to go into effect soon

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The first phase of a state gas tax increase will affect the pockets of people across Alabama Sunday.

The state will increase the state gas tax by six cents in 2019, two more cents in 2020 and another two cents in 2021. It’s all part of the state legislature’s “Rebuild Alabama” plan where the money will go toward roads, bridges and the Port of Mobile.

The money from the gas tax will be distributed between the state, counties and municipalities. The tax increase is expected to generate $320 million when phase three is fully in effect.

The law requires counties and municipalities to submit plans detailing how they are going to use the gas tax money by Aug. 31. Both of the groups need to have the plan posted online.

For instance, Montgomery County has the details for their 2020 Transportation plan here. Counties will include individual road names and costs of each project using the new gas tax money.

Sonny Brasfield is the executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. He said counties and cities will not receive the money until December and said he believes projects will being January or February of 2020.

“Now that doesn’t mean things are not going on to get us there because the bids have to be put out. The bids have to be received. They have to be reviewed. They have to be rewarded. The contractors have to mobilize,” he said.

Some cities and counties will not have their transportation plans ready until September. Brasfield said it is taking some time for the groups to learn a completely new system and process.

Every year, counties and cities are required to submit a report to the Joint Transportation Committee showing how they ended up using the gas tax money. Brasfield said there will also be audits to ensure that local leaders are using the money responsibly.

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